Opportunities in the Mining Sector Investments in mining have been the mainstay of the Liberian economy, with iron ore leading the way. Revenues from iron ore accounted for nearly half of the country’s earnings prior to 1990. In 2006, ArcelorMittal became Liberia’s first major postwar investor in iron ore, investing $1.7 billion dollars to date.
There are still vast stretches of unexplored and unexploited areas in iron ore, including the Wologizi Mountain. Opportunities also abound in gold, diamonds and the rehabilitation of latent rubber plantations. Artisanal diamond and gold mining present another opportunity for potential investors, as Liberians currently dominate this sector. Following the lifting of the UN ban on Liberian diamonds and accession to the Kimberly Process, Liberian diamonds are now accepted in international markets and socially acceptable to consumers. In light of this progress, the Israeli Diamond Institute (IDI) has committed its expertise and resources towards helping the government of Liberia develop the diamond sector.
Potential investors have a plethora of choices, as Liberia is endowed with a variety of mineral resources, both higher value metals and industrial minerals. Gold, diamonds and iron ore are the principal mineral resources occurring in ancient greenstone belts in many parts of the country. Excellent potentials that are currently untapped are platinum, uranium and niobium, and base metals such as nickel, cobalt, tin, lead and manganese. Other industrial rocks and minerals such as Sulphur, phosphates, clays (kyanite), granite, silica sand, heavy mineral sands (rutile and ilmenite) and diabase/dolerite are also known to exist in both small and large quantities.
The government is committed to attracting and enabling private sector investments for the development of mineral deposits, particularly iron ore mines, and to promote new investments in exploration and development of gold, diamonds, base metals and other mineral deposits. Geological information and mineral data will be made readily and widely accessible to both small and large scale prospective investors.