On the final day of their six-day official visit to Liberia, President Dawda Jawara of the Gambia, and his wife, were taken on a tour of the Lamco iron-ore washing plant at the port of Buchanan.
On the final day of their six-day official visit to Liberia, President Dawda Jawara of the Gambia, and his wife, were taken on a tour of the Lamco iron-ore washing plant at the port of Buchanan. They were accompanied by their hosts, Liberia's President William Tolbert and his wife.
The Lamco company is made up of a consortium of Liberian, Swedish and American interests, and it is the largest mining operation in Africa. Each day it mines forty thousand tons of iron ore out of the mountain-side above Nimba, liberia's second largest town. The ore is then carried by company railway down to Buchanan where it enters the pelletising and washing plant, which cost 51.4 million dollars (approximately GBP20 m.).
The company exports twelve million tons of ore a year, and this accounts for sixty per cent of Liberia's total iron-ore shipments. Last year Lamco celebrated its tenth birthday, and geologists have estimated that there is still enough ore in the Nimba mountain to last another fifteen years. It is believed that Lamco has invested more than five hundred million dollars (about GBP200 m.), in its Liberian operations.
It was recently announced that Lamco has joined a six-company consortium which is to mine the ore deposits on the other side of the Nimba mountain in Guinea. This operation will eventually mean that Guinea will have a railway from the border, round Sierra Leone to the capital of Conakry.
Lamco officials showed president Jawara the washing sheds and the processing plant at the Buchanan base. During their stay in Liberia, President Jawara and his wife had attended the country's 127th Independence Anniversary celebrations.