Steel giant ArcelorMittal threatens to freeze Liberia investments

Monrovia (AFP) – The world’s largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal has threatened to halt future investments in Liberia in a murky dispute concerning a port concession in the impoverished West African country.

In a letter dated December 12, obtained by AFP, and first reported by local press, the Luxembourg-based firm objected to Liberia awarding a competitor concession rights to the Port of Buchanan, its major iron-ore export hub.

“The action undermines and creates uncertainty regarding the security of tenure of ArcelorMittal Liberia’s business and future investment,” said Scott Lowe, the company’s head in the country, in the letter.

The steel giant is a major employer in Liberia, where according to its latest annual report it mined 4.6 million tonnes of iron ore last year — worth some $317 million (285 million euros) based on 2018 prices.

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