Tuesday, January 19, 2010

ArcelorMittal X BHP Billiton = Railroad to the Atlantic

In the Story below keep in mind BHP is finally getting what it has been waiting for years (we will follow with the history later this week) to acquire. The question is do the people of Liberia get a fair share?!


BHP, Arcelor in alliance talks over West Africa
Andrea Hotter
The Australian
January 20, 2010 12:00AM

STEEL giant ArcelorMittal and miner BHP Billiton are discussing combining their iron ore interests in Liberia and Guinea, creating a platform for a West African iron ore business.

The assets include BHP's 43.5 per cent interest in Guinea's Euronimba, which owns 95 per cent of the Nimba project, including exploration leases at Dieke and Nimba North, as well as the miner's four Liberian leases.

Also at stake is ArcelorMittal's 70 per cent interest in five Liberian leases and rights to upgrade Liberia's Yekepa-Buchanan railway and Panamax port.

Talks to combine the assets were expected to take several months, and the companies were seeking the support of the west African governments, BHP said.

"At this stage it is premature to comment on the nature of the overall investment. We are at early stage of reviewing the opportunities and development options," a BHP spokeswoman said.

Mining companies have had a rough ride in Guinea since the death of longtime dictator Lansana Conte in December 2008.

Junta chief Captain Moussa Dadis Camara seized power but the self-appointed president's behaviour became increasingly autocratic.

Holding negotiations with international mining companies live on national television, he threatened to close mines and confiscate projects.

The country now has an interim leader, General Sekouba Konate, after Dadis fled following an assassination attempt.

Dow Jones Newswires

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Eco-Tourism Job

Robertsport Community Works is looking for an Eco-Tourism and Ecology intern
to develop, formalize and promote rainforest walks in the coastal rainforest
around Robertsport. A full job description is posted online at

Thanks for sending this around. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Elie Losleben
Director of Programs
Robertsport Community Works

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Friday, January 08, 2010

The Trouble Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI)

At EarlyBird we are disturbed by the recent developments at Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) in Suakoko, Bong County. The wanton destruction of the nursery. It may have been and accident or as the article below suggests something more. Let's call it ignorance. I spent some time at Suakoko in the mid-1980's. The research was world class and community outreach was outstanding.

We hope and pray things get back on track and soon!



Biting the Hand that Feeds
Liberian Observer (http://www.liberianobserver.com)
By Anonymous
Created Jan 8 2010 - 4:45am

One of the important pillars upon which this government is constructing its Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) is by increasing production in the supply of homegrown crops heavily relied upon for daily consumption and subsistence in Liberia.

This policy is designed to increase production in the agricultural sector. Where successful, increased production will be followed by the building of adequate storage facilities, a marketing strategy and improved road conditions to facilitate rapid farm-to-market activities.

At the end of last year, the President was asked about accomplishments made in her government by her various ministries that had directly improved the lives of the people.

The President readily referred to the strides made in the agricultural sector. There were bumper crops of rice, cassava and of other food groups on which the population depends largely for consumption and for revenue generation.

It goes without saying that apart from rice, the population largely relies upon cassava. In its versatility, it can be boiled and eaten with a variety of sauces, or pounded to make fufu and dumboy. Because of our dependence on cassava as one of the staple foods of the nation, a project designed to promote the cassava industry is being carried out at the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) in Suakoko, Bong County.

Several varieties of high yielding cassava in an area spanning 16 acres had been planted. The plan was to distribute the sticks to farmers for planting.

Mysteriously, or shall we say, mischievously, elements in Gbarnga torched the area and destroyed the nursery. Fingers are pointing to subsistence farmers, who use the slash-and-burn method to clear their farmlands.

Authorities at CARI and in Gbarnga need to establish a no-go area where squatters cannot enter; those caught within the no-go area should be held for criminal trespass.

The farmers and community dwellers in those areas bordering CARI should be made mindful that the activities of CARI are intended to improve farmers’ agriculture pursuits, and that therefore, they should be cooperating with the effort - not destroying it. Perhaps it has now become imperative for local governments to monitor and or control slash-and-burn operations.

Community dwellers must be conscious that they too have a responsibility to embrace government efforts and promote programs that are intended to make them stand on their own feet.

Any action that is counter-productive to government’s development efforts and programs is akin to biting the hand that feeds you. A continuation is interpreted as sabotage.

In carrying out its programs, government seeks community and individual cooperation in order to meet the common goal of improving life and raising standard which is the expectation of all Liberians.

Copyright Liberian Observer - All Rights Reserved. This article cannot be re-published without the expressed, written consent of the Liberian Observer. Please contact us for more information or to request publishing permission.
Copyright 2009 | Liberian Observer Online | www.LiberianObserver.com


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