Plenary of the House of Representatives has concurred with the Liberian Senate on the passage of the engrossed Bill No. 3 entitled “An Act To Ratify The Mineral Development Agreement Between The Government Of Liberia And Hummingbird Resources (Liberia) Incorporated.
Making the motion on Tuesday for the House of Representatives to concur with the Liberian Senate, Nimba County District #9 Representative, Johnson Gwaikolo, said “knowing that during the first session of the National Legislature, this plenary passed the Act and realizing that all the members who passed this act are still with us, I move, if I can be seconded, that this Bill be concurred with in its entirety with the Liberian Senate so that it can become law.”
However, the motion was seconded and 30 out of 44 lawmakers present in plenary Tuesday voted for passage and none against, with three abstention.
Recently, the Liberian Senate ratified the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) between the Government of Liberia and the UK-based mining company Hummingbird Resources, Inc, on Thursday, February 28, and forwarded the document to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
Hummingbird Resources Inc., is in the gold extraction business and, in Liberia, its primary concession area is in Sinoe, but will also operate in other counties of the Southeast, including Maryland, Grand Kru and River Gee, estimated to jointly have over four million ounces of gold.
It can be recalled that President George Weah in a communication to House Speaker Bhofal Chambers, dated February 20, noted that the initial capital expenditure of the company is estimated at US$250 million and the government will retain 10 percent non-dilution equity in the investment.
Basically, according to the communication, ratifying such deal is significant to the government’s continued stride to fulfill the national anti-poverty development framework, the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), due to the employment and economic opportunities that it promises.
The agreement when passed by the Legislature would have to be signed into law by the President.
Under the agreement, the concession will offer opportunities to provide direct job openings to Liberians and revenue for the government, as well as contribute to strategies that intend to link the “historically economically” deprived south-eastern region to the rest of the country.It is expected that at least 180 Liberians will be employed in technical and other skilled positions to include finance and administrative departments, while others will serve as supervisors.