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Liberia Inks Letter of Intent For Liberty Corridor


The government of Liberia has signed a letter of intent to enter into negotiations with the US’ High Power Exploration (HPX) and Guma Africa Group to design, finance, develop and operate the Liberty Corridor, a multi-user infrastructure route connecting Liberia with the Republic of Guinea.
The project will require an investment of between US$3 billion and US$5 billion.
The main feature of the corridor will be a new heavy-duty railway to be constructed within the existing Yekepa-Buchanan infrastructure corridor that will connect the mineral-rich Nimba districts of Liberia and Guinea to a new deepwater port at Didia in Liberia.
The project also includes an upgrade of the existing road connecting the Nimba district to Didia, an expansion of the existing hydropower network from Cote d’Ivoire into Liberia and Guinea, and the development of high-speed telecoms infrastructure.
Liberty Corridor Source: HPXAccording to the letter of intent signed in early February, the two mining firms will enter into negotiations to finalise the framework granting exclusive rights to own, design, finance, develop and operate the Liberty Corridor. On completion of the final agreement, the document will be presented to the Liberian legislature for ratification.
The three parties will form a tripartite Liberty Corridor Project Steering Committee to liaise with stakeholders and potential international financiers.
According to HPX, the Liberty Corridor will stimulate economic activity in mining, agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare and education, benefiting 800,000 people living within the corridor.
“We are delighted to have signed this letter of intent with the government of Liberia as we seek to build Liberia’s mining sector in an open and transparent relationship that also delivers benefits to the broader industry and community,” said HPX CEO Bronwyn Barnes at the signing.
HPX operates the Nimba Lola iron ore project in the Republic of Guinea. Guma Africa Group is a pan-African conglomerate involved in mining and infrastructure.
In late January, HPX announced it had signed non-binding term sheets for the acquisition of iron ore licences in Liberia, adjacent to the Yekepa-Buchanan rail line as well as the acquisition of Alliance Terminal Logistics (ATL), which has agreements in place to develop multi-user port facilities at Freeport in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital. 
ATL intends to refurbish and operate a disused iron ore quay over a 30-year lease. The Singapore-based firm is the logistics partner for seven iron ore projects in Liberia and Guinea collectively known as the Nimba Iron Alliance.
“The St John River North and South licences are strategically located within the proposed Liberty Mutli-User Infrastructure Corridor and previous work completed by the [United States Geological Survey] has identified a potential exploration target of 650 million tonnes of up to 58% [iron],” said Barnes, announcing the acquisitions earlier this year.
Top photo: Letter signing ceremony (Source: HPX)


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