The Management of Putu Iron Ore Mining (PIOM) says the company plans to build an alternative port instead of using facilities in Greenville, Sinoe County once it is issued operating license by the Government of Liberia.
In a brief conference Wednesday at its field office in Putu-Petrokan with local authorities and a small government delegation headed by Information Minister Lewis Brown, PIOM management said it plans to construct a new port directly south of the Sapo National Park, at Grand Butal Point (Kponkpo Mongar Town), Sinoe County to accommodate modern machines the company intends to use.
According to the Community Relations Manager, Mr. Tarley Dweh, the port will contribute to the economic viability of the region while mitigating potential environmental hazards to new communities that have been built along the old railroads. He said, the Port of Greenville—built by a German company in the 60s and turned over to the Liberian Government in 1970—is small, obsolete and cannot handle expected volume of export.
In the latest Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) of PIOM, the senior manager disclosed that the company has committed itself to paving the stretch of road between Grand Gedeh and Sinoe Counties, provide funds to build the capacities of the youths of the county and meet other corporate social responsibilities in addition to the construction of a new port (which will take 5 to 6 years to complete).
Putu Iron Ore Mining has been in Liberia since 2005 conducting exploration in the Putu Mountain Range in Grand Gedeh to ascertain the quantity and quality of ore in order to inform their decision to investment in the country’s extractive sector. The exploration led to the discovery of ore deposits of 4.4 billion tons in stead of the 2.2 billion tons initially estimated. Putu has presented to the Liberian Government an investment proposal that will enable them operate in the country and provide job opportunities for at least 80 years if given license. PIOM submitted a request for operating license on March 31, 2014 to legally extract ore from the range. The Government of Liberia, by law, has 90 days to review their submission and decide whether to grant license or deny their request.