Liberia is another gold rich country with largely untapped gold resources. However, the mining sector in the country has witnessed a revival following the end of the civil war in 2003.
Although the country is infamous for diamonds, gold occupies an important place in the country’s economy. In 2013, a new Mineral development and mining policy and code was enacted with the sole aim of helping attract foreign investments to the sector.
History of Mining in Liberia
Gold mining in Liberia dates back to the time former slaves were resettled there. Most of the gold mined then was through small-scale artisanal mining.
By the 1970s gold had become an important mineral in the country’s economy and it contributed greatly to the country’s GDP. Most of the gold production during this time was done in the gold district of Gondoja-Ndablama in western Liberia.
Prior to the civil war, mineral exports amounted to about 25% of the country’s GDP and gold contribute a huge chunk of the percentage. During the civil war, which lasted from 1990 to 2003, most of the major gold mines were closed and gold production went to almost zero. However, with the return to peace, the gold mining sector has a bright future with quite a number of mines being reopened.
By 2004, gold production had resumed in Ndablama, Butter Hill, Soso Camp and Benjeh.
The gold resources in Liberia have been largely untapped for a long period of time. General instability in the country has not been at all attractive for outside interests.
Locals have concentrated on alluvial gold mining along the rivers for many years, but have been unable to use their limited means to extract the lode sources. This offers great opportunity if you are interested in investing in gold in Liberia. Some of the major gold resources in the country to consider are:
New Liberty Gold Mine
This is an important gold mine located in the Bea Mountain within the Northwest region of Liberia about 100km from Monrovia, the Liberian capital city. The African Aura Mining company owns the mine. The mine is situated in the Gold Camp district that has great history of alluvial gold mining. In fact, small-scale artisanal miners have been working on the edge of the mine for over a century.
New Liberty is a high-grade, Archean, shear-facilitated gold mine with well-defined modification and sulfide mineralogy. New Liberty has unmistakably characterized high-grade pay shoots, which identify with fold and shearing events. Mineralization at New Liberty is plainly identified with shear twisting and sulphidation of a magnetite rich ore.
Ndablama Gold Project
Ndablama gold project is also located in the Bea Mountain about 40km northeast of New Liberty Project. The project is located about 130km North East of Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia.
The Ndablama region, just like most of the Bea Mountain has a long history of artisanal alluvial gold mining. The general topography of Ndablama comprises of mafics, as amphibolite schists, gneisses, and ultramafic rocks, in form of magnetite-rich and magnetite-poor tremolite-schists. Gold mineralization is shear related and facilitated inside of the ultramafic and mafic units.
Also Read: Gold Mining on the Upswing in Sierra Leone
Weaju Gold project
Weaju Gold Mine is also located within the Bea Mountains and at about 30 km northeast of the new liberty mines. Like the New Liberty Mine, Weaju is owned by the African Aura Mining company. The region has been mined for over 50 years although on a small scale.
Exploration by the African Aura Mining begun in 2012 and in 2013 the company reported its first find of about 178 00 ounces of gold resources at the 2.1g/t grade.
The Basawa Gold Project
This is another important gold project in Liberia. It is located about 350 km from Monrovia in the southeastern region of the country. The exploration license for the mine covers an area of about 1,000km2 and has good network of roads to provide access to the project area.