Pres. Sirleaf Halts Operation of Chinese Firm

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MONROVIA, March 19 (LINA) - Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has ordered an immediate halt to the operations of the Chinese company, SKY, on the Cestos River in southeastern Liberia.

Residents had complained that the Chinese company was involved in mining of sand and gold along the Cestos River, impeding the free flow of the river.

They also complained that the operations of the company were undermining the Cestos River Bridge.

The Liberian leader, who is currently on a visit to Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties which are co-hosting this year’s July 26 Independence Day Celebration, said the Chinese company should only resume operations after all investment agreements are met.

During an interaction with President Sirleaf, according to a press release from the Executive Mansion, the Chinese miners denied that they were mining sand, but admitted that they have plans to mine gold and have applied to the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy for a permit.

They claimed that the permit is being processed, but even before obtaining the permit they have started building water vessels on the Cestos River, as part of preparations for the gold mining operations. 

Meanwhile, President Sirleaf has admonished the locals not to allow their environment to be abused, without reporting it to the county authorities or central government.