Speaking to a team of journalists during a tour of the company’s operational site in Zorgowee Town, Nimba County on June 17, 2022 aimed publicly confirming or denying media report that the company has built substandard housing facilities for its employee, Bill Murphy said Solway Mining Company has not started construction of any housing facilities for its employees.
Mr. Murphy, who is the Administrative Assistant and Public Relations Officer of the company, also disclosed that the company has not constructed any housing facilities as being alleged by detractors in the absence of the signing of the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) by the Liberian Government.
Speaking further, Mr. Murphy described such media report as laughable, noting that despite of the slow pace of the signing of the MDA, the company is immensely providing other forms of empowering citizens of the county through vocational skills training programs for women and girls in the county.
During the tour Mr. Murphy, the youthful administrative assistant of the company used the occasion to disclose how the company is contemplating on constructing a state-the-of-art housing units for its employees, but noted that the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) as required by law will carry on the project whenever the company is ready.
However, these below proposed housing facilities designs for employees of the company have been done awaiting the approval of LAEC to start the project
Proudly displaying a communication from the National Investment Commission (NIC), addressed to the Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of Solway Mining Company, Mr. Alford Morgan and dated on May 23, 2022, signed by the Chairman of the NIC, Mr. Molewuleh B. Gray, a copy of which is in the possession of GNN said, “I am pleased to inform you that H.E. George M. Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, has constituted an Inter-Ministerial Concession Committee (MICC), to commence the review and negotiation of Solway’s proposed Mineral and Development Agreement. His Excellency’s mandate was based on a request by the Ministry of Mines & Energy, growing out of detailed exploration conducted by Solway Mining, which has identified an initial resource of approximately eight hundred and seventy- five (875) Millions tons of iron ore, of which 8.6 percent is direct shipping ore. The IMCC on Solway Mining is now empowered to commence the financial, technical, and legal review of your proposal”, the NIC communication to the Solway Mining management noted.
On the part of the company’s social responsibility to the people of the county, Mr. Murphy said the company has this year (2022) paid US$4,790. 00 as scholarship fees for students from the county to further their studies at the Booker Washington Institute (BWI).
During the tour, journalists observed that 98% of the company’s workforce are trained young Liberians, many of whom are geologists with vast experience in the sector, contrary that the company was being operated as another foreign owned group aimed at utilizing the resources of the country at the detriment of the underprivileged Liberians.
At the temporary mining site of the company in Zorgowee town, outside the county’s capital, Sanniquellie young Liberian women and men were seen joyously performing their assigned duties, a scene which impressed journalists who were touring the company’s facilities to ascertain the facts surrounding the construction of substandard housing facilities for its employees.
For his part, the senior geologist of the company, the Solway Mining Company, Varney Anthony who is also the Project Manager, expressed gratitude to the journalists who took up time to tour the company’s site aimed at verifying media report that the company was doing things against the will of the people.
He further bragged that Liberians are indeed capable of doing what foreigners can do, stressing, “We here at Solway Mining Company are prepared to supplement the efforts of the Liberian government by greatly reducing the high rate of unemployment in the country”, Mr. Anthony told journalists during the tour.