House Joint Committee Commences Public Hearings on Restated and Amended MDA Between Gov’t and BMMC

The House Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Concessions has officially commenced public hearings to review and assess the Restated and Amended Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) entered into by the Government of Liberia and Bea Mountain Mining Corporation.

The public hearings, according to the House Press and Public Affairs, which began on Monday, 4 September, mark a significant step in ensuring transparency, accountability, and public participation in the management of Liberia’s valuable mineral resources.

The House Joint Committee, composed of members from Mines, Energy & Natural Resources, Investment and Concessions, Agriculture and Judiciary.

The Restated and Amended MDA between the Government of Liberia and Bea Mountain Mining Corporation  is of great national importance, as it governs the terms and conditions of mineral exploration and exploitation in the country. It also outlines the responsibilities of the parties involved, including the sharing of benefits, environmental safeguards, and social development commitments.

Addressing the hearing, the Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Concessions Committee, Atty. Molewuleh B. Gray said under the new 25-year agreement, the company is expected to make an additional investment of five Hundred Twenty Million United States Dollars ($520M).

He stated that there are four areas under considerations that the company will focused beginning with as of this September Bea Mountain will make an investment of $70million United States Dollars, in what is considered the leopard rock reserve, at the Mount. Tamor open pit mine, the company will make an investment of US$150Mllion in October of this year, at Nat Blama mine they will make another US$200M investment by June of 2024.

The Hearing was attended by the Bea Mountain General Manager Reza Karimunyon, Mr. Debar Allen Country Manager, Mines and Energy Minister Gester Murray, National Investment Commissioner Molewuleh Gray, Acting Justice Minister Nyanati Tuan, representing the National Bureau of Concession Diana Harris and Wilmot Yarsiah and the Liberia Revenue Authority was represented by its Deputy Commissioner General for Technical Services, Gabriel Montgomery.

The Joint Committee Chairman Hon. Clearence Massaquoi presiding over the hearings said the House will do nothing to compromise the interest of the people and as such the committee will scrutinize the MDA properly, involving the public participation including the community or county in which the concessionaires operate.

The committee has requested the following documents to aid their work; the Company’s list of shipment for the past six months, technical and feasibility that informs the Mines and Energy Minister to sign onto said proposed agreement, usage of explosive at mine sites, clarity on number of Liberian citizens employed, the issue of local contents, overall performance report and among others.

The hearing which was heated saw several lawmakers including Hon. Acarous Gray, Hon. Vincent Willie, Hon. Dixon Seboe, Hon. P. Mike Jurry, Hon. Johnson Gwaikolo, Hon. Rustonlyn Suacoco Dennis all actively participating, giving their inputs.

The public hearings will provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to express their views, concerns, and recommendations regarding the MDA. It is expected that these hearings will help ensure that the agreement aligns with the best interests of the Liberian people and adheres to international best practices in the mining sector.

The House Joint Committee encourages all stakeholders, including civil society organizations, community leaders, and concerned citizens, to actively participate in these public hearings by submitting written memoranda and attending the scheduled sessions. The input received will be carefully considered in the committee’s deliberations.

The hearing continues as the House Joint Committee is committed to conducting a fair and transparent review of the Restated and Amended MDA, ensuring that Liberia’s mineral resources contribute to sustainable development, job creation, and improved livelihoods for all Liberians.

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