By Alva Mulbah Wolokolie
Aureus Mining/New Liberty gold project, the first commercial gold mine in Liberia has commenced the construction of about 325 housing units for thousands of residents in Western Liberia, Grand Cape Mount County.
The construction is part of the company’s Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) which defines a clear understanding in its restated and amended Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) ratified by the government of Liberia.
Aureus’s Liberty Gold Mine is anticipating to producing 800,000 ounces of gold while it is engaged in the exploration and development of gold deposits in under-explored areas in that part of the country. The resettlement exercise is about moving people of the towns of Kinjor and Lajor to a new site because they are sitting on the pit; the mine.
In an interview with the INQUIRER during the weekend in Gola Konneh District, the company’s General Manager, Mr. Debbie Allen, told reporters that the Aureus Mining will be expanded at an estimated amount of US$3 and a half million to resettle residents of Kinjor and Lajor Towns.
After series of meeting held in the township, Mr. Allen disclosed that the residents have embraced the company’s Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) given what has earlier promised them.
Mr. Allen indicated that 150 acres had been bought by Aureus Mining to build the structures which include elementary and junior high school, a church, mosque, stores, market hall and the erection of hand pumps in the newly established community.
The mining company boss said after an environmental impact, assessment was carried out; Aureus decided to drop its original plan which was to return room for a room and embark on constructing an apartment with two rooms, kitchen, living-room with back and front porches.
Although Mr. Allen did not tell reporters how much the company is expected to receive in terms of monetary value from its annual sales but disclosed that December 2014 remains the alternative date for the first export of gold deposit from the site.
Also speaking during a tour of the project site was the Youth Chair of Kinjor, King Basheru Sambola. Mr. Sambola expressed his gratitude to the company for being committed to its words that better structures would be build unlike the makeshift ones people are currently occupying.
“We are pleased to be relocated because they are going to build better structures than those we are currently living in. They are going to build a school for the children, a church for the Christians and a mosque for the Muslims,” Kinjor Town Youth Chair Sambola told the INQUIRER.