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PM Dore’s Visit to Liberia? Seeking Use of Buchanan Port to Export Guinea’s Iron Ore

November 4, 2010

Guinea Seeks Ore Exportation through Buchanan Port
Publication Date: November 4, 2010 – 7:45pm
Updated: November 4, 2010 – 7:45pm

By:
Alva Mulbah Wolokollie

Guinean Prime Minister, Jean Marie Dore, has expressed his country’s desire to use the Port of Buchanan, in Grand Bassa County, Liberia, as a transit point for the exportation of iron ore from the Republic of Guinea to the international market.

The Guinean Prime Minister arrived in the country on Monday at the head of a high-level Government delegation and has been holding bilateral talks with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other senior Liberian state officials.

Executive Mansion sources say the main subject of the discussions has been the shipment of Guinean iron ore through the Port of Buchanan for shipment to world markets.

Minutes upon his arrival in Monrovia, Prime Minister Dore and President Johnson Sirleaf had closed door discussions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill.

These discussions were followed by an open session held in the conference room of the Ministry.

During the open discussion, President Sirleaf welcomed the Guinean delegation and expressed confidence that the pending November 7, 2010 general and presidential elections in that bauxite and iron ore-rich country would be conducted in a peaceful atmosphere.

The Liberian leader commended the government and friendly people of Republic of Guinea for the level of coordination that has been put in place since the pronouncement of general and presidential elections in that country.

President Sirleaf, who chairs the Mano River Union (MRU), was quick to ring a bell to the Guinean delegation that the rest of the world looks forward to peaceful elections in Guinea.

In response, Prime Minister Jean Marie Dore indicated that he and his entourage were delighted to be in the country to hold talks with the Liberian leader.

The Prime Minister, who spoke in French through an interpreter, said it is historic for them to be hosted in Liberia especially if one could remember the cordial and rewarding relations that have for many decades existed between the two countries.

He described Liberia as an engine of the Mano River Union (MRU) that stands by her neighboring countries within the sub-regions.

The Guinean presidential run-off elections slated for Sunday, November 7, 2010, will determine the future of that country, he said.

He expressed the hope that the elections would pave the way for lasting peace for the people of Guinea.

Prime Minister Dore assured the Liberian leader that the elections in Guinea would be peaceful and transparent, because of the Liberian chief executive’s regular visitations and interventions have been geared toward promoting of free, fair, transparent and credible elections in that country.

The Prime Minister disclosed that the purpose of his visit to Liberia was two-fold: to strengthen collaboration between the two Mano River Union states, as Guinea prepares to transition to a democratic Government; and the submission to the Liberian Government of a proposal emphasizing Guinea’s interest in using the Port of Buchanan to export iron ore from Guinea.

He informed President Sirleaf that mining in Guinea was done closely to the border of Liberia. As a result, authorities in that country have considered it prudent to use the railway and transport iron ore and other minerals through the Port City of Buchanan.

In the past, the Guinean Prime Minister told President Sirleaf, exportation of minerals from that country was done through the Ivory Coast.

Since the 1960s Guinea has been contemplating mining its ore, which is richly deposited in the Merfegie Mountain range in Guinea. The problem has been how to export it to the world markets. Most global financial institutions have advised that it would be far more economical to ship the ore through Liberia’s Port of Buchanan, using the railway through Nimba, Bong and Grand Bassa Counties.

It is not clear when mining operations will begin in Guinean. First, no doubt, the Guinea government will have to carefully examine various proposals from global companies with the expertise and financial resources equal to the task of undertaking such a gigantic operation.

While the Prime Minister’s delegation is in the country for a three-day official visit, it is expected that the issues would be further deliberated upon.

In the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium of the Foreign Ministry, the Vice President of Liberia, Joseph N. Boakai, tendered a dinner in honor of Prime Minister Dore and his delegation.

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