The Ministry of Mines & Energy Announces Moratorium on the Use of Heavy Earth Moving Equipment For Class C Mining Operations

Mining activities which are currently being carried out by Class C Mining License Holders and Class C Licensees that are using Heavy Earth Moving Equipment, including Mining Cooperatives operating under Class C licenses, continue to cause serious environmental problems to our landforms, water bodies and rural communities in which these activities are taking place.

Due to the severe environmental impacts associated with these operations and to effectively control the trade in mineral commodities from these mining operations, the Ministry of Mines & Energy hereby declares a nationwide moratorium on the use of heavy earth moving equipment by all Class C Mining license holders and Mining Cooperatives.

Note: Only valid Class B and Class A Mining license holders can use heavy earth moving equipment. All Mining Inspectors, County authorities and law enforcement officers are hereby encourage to enforce this moratorium accordingly!

This Moratorium takes immediate effect and is valid until otherwise lifted by the MINISTER.

Issued by: the MINISTER, Ministry of Mines and Energy, Republic of Liberia.

Issue Date: January 22, 2020

The Ministry of Mines and Energy Announces Measures to Curb Illicit Mining Activities and Reform the Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) Sub-sector of Liberia

28 October 2019

The Ministry of Mines and Energy has commenced a rigorous exercise aimed at fixing and formalizing the Artisanal Small Scale Mining (ASM) sub-sector of Liberia. A road map has been developed which will require collect efforts of the local government, law enforcement authorities and private citizens.

Towards this end, the following decisions have been taken.

  1. With immediate effect, the use of dredges on all water bodies within our borders for mining of Gold and Diamonds is hereby banned
  2. A training program for mining agents and mineral inspectors has been approved and its now being rolled out
  3. The institution of a training in Smart Mining Techniques for local miners has commenced around the national parks and protected areas. This would be replicated across Liberia for the purpose of land reclamation
  4. A moratorium on the issuance of new Class C licenses will be instituted
  5. A ban on the use of mercury to recover gold will be robustly reinforced and violators will be severely prosecuted in keeping with law
  6. No field personnel from the Ministry of Mines and Energy should henceforth collect any fees whatsoever in the execution of their duties
  7. The Ministry in collaboration with the National Identification Registry (NIR) has begun the issuing ASM ID cards to all mining actors. We want to encourage each and every mining actor to obtain their ASM ID Card.

Therefore, we hereby advise all legitimate miners and citizens of the area where these activities are prevalent to report any case of such as violators will be prosecuted.

Meanwhile, the Ministry, with support from the World Bank and FDA is implementing activities under the Liberia Forest Sector Project (LFSP). These activities have led to the formation of seven (7) mining cooperatives in Gbarpolu, Sinoe and Grand Gedeh Counties. These mining cooperatives have benefited from the Smart Mining Techniques (SMT).

Press Release

Energy Policy Note

Policy Note on Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), Transmission Service Agreements (TSAs) and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) for the Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Power in Liberia.

Whereas, the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) is the energy sector lead for the Government of Liberia (Gol) the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) is the GoL utility responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical power across the entire country, and the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC} is the sector regulator responsible for licensing and tariff regulation;

Whereas, MME, LEC, and LERC welcome Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), Transmission Service Agreements (TSAs) and Private Public Partnership (PPP) proposals for the development of the Liberian energy sector;

Whereas, Generation, Transmission, Distribution and equipment or services proposals must be structured in a manner that support His Excellency, President George Manneh Weah’s Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), and they must represent best value to ordinary Liberian citizens (consumers), and must be fully transparent; Whereas, Proposals must not be reliant on sovereign guarantees and must abide by the principle of a ‘reducing tariff that supports the President’s Pro Poor Agenda;
Now therefore,  PPA, TSA and PPP Proposals must meet the following criteria before they can be considered:

1. PPA and TSA Proposals for power that is consumed, transmitted or distributed on the Liberian grid (network), and funded from LEC or Gol revenue, funds or debt, must be approved by MME, LEC Board, and the LERC consistent with the 2015 Electricity Law of Liberia;

2. All PPP Proposals for Generation, Transmission, and Distribution associated or connected to the Liberian (LEC) grid (network), and funded from LEC or Gol revenue, funds or debt, must be subject to the Public Procurement and Concession Act and the 2015 Electricity Law of Liberia prior to approval by the LEC Board and the Minister of Mines and Energy;

3. Any PPA or PPP Proposal must deliver power to LEC (the National Grid) at a price (per KwH) below the two (2)-year average price (per Kwh) of the Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea (CLSG) West African Power Pool (WAPP) 225KV line until the Regulator sets a cost reflective tarriff. The CLSG KwH cost will be measured and defined as the pure PPA cost charged to LEC or GoL, exclusive of TSA costs and any other associated or implied costs and will be seen as the ‘benchmark’ price, Notwithstanding, all such costs must be consistent with Section 8 (Tariffs and Terms of Supply) of the 2015 Electricity Law of Liberia

4. TRANSCO is the CLSG operator and each of the four CLSG countries owns an equal 25% share of the TRANSCO CLSG Transmission Line

5. PPAs or PPPs will not be considered on a ‘Take or Pay’ basis. A proposed PPA or PPP for power generation connected to the National Grid would only see generation purchased by LEC or GoL, once all cheaper generation options indigenous to LEC and Gol (including the approved TRANSCO CLSG off take), have been exhausted by LEC and Gol. The requirement for LEC and GoL to exhaust their own indigenous and cheaper generation capacity before purchasing other sources of generation, represents the best interest of Liberian citizens and businesses, and supports His Excellency, President George Manneh Weah’s Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development;

6. The Liberian Energy Sector discourages PPA, TSA and PPPs that seek to ‘cherry­pick’ prime commercial customers.

7. As an overriding principle, any proposed PPA must demonstrate a reducing tariff in support of His Excellency, President George Manneh Weah’s Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development. The current tariff of US $0.35 / KwH (May 2019) remains unsustainably high and PPAs that offer models based on that level of tariff cannot be seen as supporting the PAPD;

8. Companies, entities and organizations proposing PPAs, TSAs and PPPs, must be able to materially demonstrate previous expertise, acceptable financial credentials and credible experience in the specific discipline they are proposing to deliver;

9. The Government of Liberia recognizes that Transmission Service Agreements (TSA) are a transaction between the TSO (or LEC) and a third-party operator who meets the requirements of the 2015 Electricity Law, allowing a nondiscriminatory access arrangement to National Grid transmission lines

10. Potential PPA and PPP providers must also consider Liberia’s acceptance of its long-term responsibility to combat climate change and its commitment to a preference for renewable energy options over hydrocarbon options. Furthermore, in order to accelerate universal access to electricity, PPPs must also consider other options such as mini/micro grids in areas not covered by the national grid.

ENERGY POLICY NOTE

Minister Gesler E. Murray touring progress of the TRANSCO CLSG Transmission Line: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKJ-4nL32H0

Minister Gesler E. Murray live television interview at the 2019 African Energy Forum, in Lisbon, Portugal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ey4phFOSRpE