Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy

USAID GEMAP assistance to the Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy (MLME) has focused on regulatory reform and the development of a modern, state-of-the-art concessioning framework for mineral deposits. The new concessions framework introduced measures to maximize sustainable contributions of mining to the national economy. The framework replaces the old regime by introducing competitive auctioning of known deposits, rather than granting de facto production rights to exploration companies once the deposit is identified. The framework constitutes a novel achievement in comparison to mining regimes in different parts of the world.

Under the new concessions framework, an improved bid process was instituted to include such considerations as upfront payment to the government, tax rate, proposed production schedule, infrastructure investments, contribution to community development, and the quantification of technical and financial capability primarily through due diligence. Due diligence applied to the $1.4 billion Western Cluster tender was instrumental in initiating a re-bid. The Bong Mines and Western Cluster deposits, negotiated with the new tendering process, are expected to contribute $300 million in revenues and develop industrial linkages.

Amendments were developed to harmonize Mining and Minerals Act and the Petroleum Act with the Public Procurement and Concessions Act to create a consistent and effective legal framework to manage concessions and attract more investors.

Representation of Liberia at the International Mining Indaba conference in South Africa, sponsored by USAID GEMAP for two years in a row, promoted Liberia’s image at the world’s largest and most prestigious investors gathering in this sector.

USAID GEMAP also implemented a Mining Cadastre Information Management System (MCIMS), which will record boundaries, reduce fraud, and increase mining revenue. MCIMS makes license granting and management processes more efficient and transparent by streamlining licensing processes, avoids ownership conflicts by clarifying boundaries, and increases mining revenue by tracking payments and enabling effective monitoring of exploration and mining contracts.

Achievements and Impact

  • All mineral development and exploration agreements signed under the National Transitional Government of Liberia were reviewed according to international standards.

  • The $1.3 billion Arcelor Mittal agreement was successfully renegotiated in line with industry standards.

  • Due diligence applied to the $1.4 billion Western Cluster tender was instrumental in initiating a re-bid.

  • An improved bid process was instituted to provide advantages to the government such as upfront payment to the government, favorable tax rates, and requirements related to proposed production schedules, infrastructure investments, contributions to community development, and the quantification of technical and financial capability.

  • The largest concession in Liberia‚Äôs history, the $2.6 billion Bong Mines concession, was successfully negotiated, assisted by an improved bid process.

  • The Mining Cadastre Information Management System (MCIMS) enhanced transparency, efficiency, and accuracy in mineral rights management. 

  • The estimated annual revenue stream of $300 million expected at full production from the Bong Mines and Western Cluster concessions shows the biggest growth indicator among the sources that contribute to the government revenue base.

Please see the relevant reports and documents in the Library for more information on GEMAP assistance activities at the Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy.