By Garmonyou Wilson
The Chinese iron ore giant, the China Union, currently operating in the Bong Mines concession areas, has been given the green light to begin the renovation of over 800 housing units in the town to be used for employees and staff.
According to the Deputy General Manger of China Union, Xing Ming Ding, the renovation of the housing units is part of phase one of the company’s over US$ 2 billion concession agreement in the country and that the housing units would be up to standard, assuring the community that the design of the units will be compared to that of structures already existing.
Speaking at the China Union Bong Mines office, Mr. Ding said in the not too long future the first fifteen hundred tons of iron ore would be ready for export and that the company is trying to increase production therefore they would need to also increase employment, which makes the renovation of the housing unit’s cardinal at this stage.
He said that the company is currently involved in a scholarship program and has taken over the hospital, renovated the public high school and is also constructing two major road networks while at the same time the company’s first phase would end at the end of 2014 thereby urging the government and the community to motivate them to do more.
With over 300 local employees that do not include contractors, Mr. Ding said China Union is prepared to take up the challenge and bring development in that part of the country with the support especially from the local government.
During the turning over of the township keys to China Union, the Deputy Minister for Operations at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy (LME), Sam Ross, thanked the citizens of the town for leaving the dilapidated housing units peacefully.
He said that this is one step further in the obligations rendered them in the Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) in ensuring that everybody plays their part to bring development back to Bong Mines after years of isolation.
The LME Minister called on the citizenry in that part of the country to remain resolved and patient as the development that they all yearn for would happen if they continue to play by the rules.
For his part, the District Commissioner for Fuamah District in Bong County, Hampton Giddings, said that the citizens of the district welcome the company but that they want to be consulted when it comes to what they want and that the company should not assume what they want or like.