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Delta Mining cleared

Monrovia, where the local
government has cleared
the way for Delta
Mining to re-bid
Monrovia, Liberia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 04 May 2009 – The Liberian government has cleared the South African company Delta Mines Consolidated Limited of all alleged improprieties over its US$1.6 billion (R14.4 billion) bid for the Western Cluster Iron Ore project in the West African country.

A statement released here by the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy said the Johannesburg-based company would be allowed to participate in a new tender.

Delta has interests in coal and iron ore production. Its biggest shareholders are Avalon Trust, also based in Johannesburg, and Bernard Swanepoel, a former chief executive officer of Harmony Gold Mining Company.

Liberia has also cleared Tata Steel Limited – India’s biggest steelmaker – to re-bid for the Western Cluster project.

The Liberian government cancelled the award of the contract to Delta Mining last September, and barred the company and Tata Steel from participating in a new tender, over allegations of what it called “external influence or impropriety.” In December Delta announced that it was to sue the government of Liberia, following its decision to cancel the iron ore project.

In an e-mailed statement here the company said the Liberian government’s purported reasons for not awarding Delta the concession had no basis in law. Its suit had been filed in the Liberian Civil Law Court for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Delta said.

The Western Cluster iron ore project consists of two mines that closed in 1976 and 1985 due to civil war, plus three other deposits.