THE WESTERN CLUSTER IRON ORE DEPOSITS, LIBERIA
In 2009 The Government of Liberia has selected EIENILTO for the development of the Western Cluster iron mega-project. Elenilto has executed a 25 years Mineral Development Agreement with the Government of Liberia to develop the mines. With resources of more than 3 billion tons (original estimations were 1 billion tons) following Airborne survey and over 30,000 meters of drilling executed during the last year, this integrated project involves a major construction of the railroad, port, and mining infrastructure and advanced facilities.
In 2011, Sesa Goa (a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources PLC) joined the project as an operating partner. Located in western Liberia, the Western Cluster project consists of three mining concessions, the Bomi, Mano and Bea, with over 3,000 Mt of iron ore resource. The general geology of the iron ore concessions is typical of Proterozoic banded iron formations (BIF), and is comprised primarily of quartz, hematite, and magnetite as well such weathering and replacement products as martite and limonite.
The company has completed its airborne survey and over 31,000 meters of drilling at the project site.
In the 1st phase, by 2013-4, the Western Cluster mines should yield a total annual production of 10 Mtpa and in the 2nd phase, which is expected to begin by 2016-7 will be ramped up to 30 Mtpa.
On October 2012, Western Cluster Ltd signed a Port Lease and Operating Agreement with the management of the National Port Authority (NPA) for the rehabilitation and construction of infrastructures at the Freeport of Monrovia for the export of iron ore. The Port Lease and Operating Agreement allows WCL to construct loading and unloading facilities including rehabilitation of the former Liberia Mining Company (LMC) and National Iron Ore Company (NIOC) piers. Under the agreement, 43.29 acres of land has been earmarked for use by WCL for developing the port facilities. Apart from the infrastructure development which will be undertaken by WCL, the National Port Authority will also be receiving annual lease rental from WCL.
Earlier that month (October 2012), Western Custer Ltd and the Ministry of Public Works executed works to rehabilitate the Lofa bridge which was constructed in 1950s by the former NIOC which was on the verge to collapse. The bridge is the link between Gbarpolu, Grand Cape Mount counties and Monrovia.
On September 2012, Western Cluster Limited has remitted US$ 2.8 million in the Liberian Government’s coffers as Annual Social Contributions and General Education Funds payments, as its 2nd Annual Social Contribution.
On December 2012 Sesa Goa became 100% shareholder of WCL
The Western Cluster Iron Ore Deposits
Located in Western Liberia, and composed of several deposits covering 270 sq km with deposits presented by the government of over 1.05 Billion tons of iron ore, and following extensive exploration program that included airborne survey and over 30,000 meters of drilling was tripled to 3 billion tons.
The concessions consists of:
*The Mano River Iron Ore Deposits (former National Iron Ore Company: NIOC);
Location, Reserves and Fe content:
The deposits with total area of 270 sq km, are located close to the coast along the old railway from Monrovia to Mano River:
Banded Iron Formation – Iron Ore