Weaju Gold Mines Crisis Resolved
Two disputing claimants of the Weaju Hills gold mine in Grand Cape Mount County have resolved their differences and agreed to work together. The agreement reached between the two parties allows the Aureus Mining Incorporated to carry on operation, while the Weaju Hills Mining Company is being restricted to providing support.
Lands, Mines and Energy Minister Patrick Sandolo held a press conference Wednesday in Monrovia where both parties were represented. Minister Sandolo told reporters the acrimonious and protracted dispute between Weaju Hills Mining Company and the Aureus Mining Incorporated over the gold deposit [Weaju Hills Mine] has affected the claimants, surrounding communities and the Government of Liberia.
Sandolo said the ministry handled the issue a test of its mantle of resolving disputes concerning mineral rights to fast tract the process of extracting and marketing the minerals for the benefit of residents in those surrounding communities in terms of providing jobs and stimulating social and economic development.
She said, “It is therefore a great pleasure to announce to you today that our mantle has resulted in an amicable resolution of the Weaju Hill dispute. I’m also profoundly pleased … through the conclusion of this deal.”
The Minister however underscored it is possible to strike a fair balance between Liberia’s interest, foreign investment as well as the paramount interest in ensuring that Liberians participate in the sector and benefit in a meaningful way from the country’s resources. He said it was possible to resolve such complex dispute between the two mining companies through a transparent, honest and fair process.
Samdolo urged individuals who had reportedly engaged in acts of lawlessness, including trespassing and vandalizing properties belonging to one of the claimants in the deal to desist as government is working with both parties for a smooth transition.
In separate comments, Weaju Hills Mining Company boss Frederick Hills, who is the junior partner in the peace arrangement, told his sympathizers that the matter has come to a compromise.
“I wouldn’t say necessarily that we got everything we wanted in this arrangement, but we are hopeful that everything that we have agreed to will be successful”, he added
Ronnie Addy, Country Manager for Aureus Mining Incorporated also called on all parties to see the arrangement as a victory for everyone, and we can use this in fostering the relationship between us,” he said.