Liberia: First Liberian Mining , Energy & Petroleum conference

By Peterking Quaye , Mining, Energy & Petroleum Reporter – The 1st Liberian Mining, Energy & Petroleum Conference & Exhibition (LIMEP 2011) will take place from 11 – 13 April 2011, in Monrovia, Republic of Liberia. This event is organised by the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, in partnership with AME Trade Ltd.

Liberian Minister of Energy

Liberian Minister of Energy

According to organizers LIMEP 2011 is a turnkey event focusing on Liberia’s mining, energy and petroleum potential and their sustainable development. LIMEP will feature three days of conference sessions, a trade exhibition, round table discussions, seminars as well as touristic trips and mine site visits. It will gather international investors, mining experts, managers of financial institutions, Liberian decision makers, development partners and donors, as well as other key actors and partners in the mining, petroleum and energy industries.

After two decades of instability and civil strife, a government was democratically elected in 2006 and Africa’s first ever female President sworn into office, since this time the Liberian administration has rapidly set about restructuring the extractive industries sectors.

LIMEP 2011 will act as a platform to exchange experiences, debate and establish business partnerships and cooperation, which will lead to conclusions and recommendations for an improved development of the country’s wealth and their sustainable development.

The main theme of LIMEP 2011 is “Integrating the mining, petroleum and energy sectors into the development strategy for a Liberia that is moving forward” .

Interest in Liberia’s offshore petroleum potential has been rising due to the recent Venus discovery in Sierra Leone during September 2009 which could confirm a new oil frontier. The Liberia Electricity Corporation has signed a five-year management contract with an international energy provider. The contract which is valued at US$53m was signed in April 2010. This will assist Liberia’s electricity generation capacities which will more than double within the next year from 10 megawatts to 23 megawatts .

Liberia is rich in natural resources notably: iron ore, diamonds, gold, bauxite and possesses a high petroleum potential. However the country is under explored for the aforementioned resources. Investment and mining laws are globally competitive with 100% repatriation of profits and no currency exchange restrictions. Liberia has been named the first Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Compliant Country on the African continent. The Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy in April 2010 opened a Mining Cadastre centre, thereby improving the efficiency and reliability of the Mining Cadastre Information Management System.

In March 2010 Liberia published a new mineral policy, aimed at an equitable and competitive mining sector, fully integrated into the African market and constitute a major player in National, continental and international capital and commodity markets. It is also intended to provide a framework that will guide the sustainable management of the country’s mineral resources .

Liberia has more than 3,443 Mt of iron ore reserves, and during the 1960’s was the third largest exporter worldwide and the number one producer on the African continent. Major iron deals have been signed in Liberia over the last half decade to a value of approximately $10 billion USD.

Liberia has overwhelming potential for gold exploration. Liberia’s “Cestos Shear zone” is part of the West African gold fields which hosts Siguiri mine (Guinea), Ity mine (Ivory Coast), Syama Mine (Mali). Alluvial diamonds are mined widely in Northern, Central and Western Liberia and the Archaean craton is full of new discoveries waiting to be uncovered. Liberia became a Kimberley Process participant on May 4, 2007 and official diamond exports recommenced in September 2007.