MONROVIA (AFP) – A mining company announced Tuesday it has discovered around a million ounces (30 tonnes) of gold beneath two towns in western Liberia and said that as result thousands of residents would be relocated.
"The re-location exercise is about moving people of the towns of Kinjor and Lajor to a new site because they are sitting on the pit; the mine," said Shirk Sonii, spokesman for the Aureus Mining Company which has the mining concessions in the area.
Aureus Mining Inc., a Canadian registered company, is engaged in the exploration and development of gold deposits in under-explored areas of Liberia and Cameroon.
This is the first commercial gold mining operation in Liberia, and Aureus' Liberty Gold Mine is expected to produce 120,000 ounces per year over an eight year span with production on track for the first deposits to be recovered in the last quarter of 2013.
In monetary value, it is expected that the company will receive $120 million from its annual sales.
According to Sonii thousands of residents must be relocated to land about five hundred miles away from the blasting zone.
Scheduled to be resettled October this year, residents of Kinjor and Lajor have agreed to relocate given what the company has promised to them.
"We are pleased to relocate because they are going to build better structures than those we are currently living in... They are now building a school for our children," Kinjor town head Lasana Sambola told AFP by phone.
Since the end of a civil war a decade ago, Liberia has accrued over $18 billion in direct capital investment mainly for the mineral, oil and agriculture sectors.