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Delta sues Liberian government

Monrovia, where Delta
Mining is suing the
Liberian government
decision to revoke
the award of the
Western Cluster iron
ore concession
Monrovia, Liberia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 30 December 2008 – Johannesburg-based mining company Delta Mining Consolidated Limited (Delta) is to sue the government of Liberia, following the West African country’s decision to cancel the US1.6 billion (R15 billion) iron ore project in which Delta was involved.

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. Liberia cancelled Delta’s contract and barred the company and India’s Tata Steel Limited from participating in a new tender, claiming that the initial bid might have been compromised by what it termed “external influence or impropriety.”
When reached by telephone, Liberian minister of lands, mines and energy Eugene Shannon declined to comment. He referred questions to attorney-general Phillip Banks, who did not pick up calls made to his mobile phone.

Reuters reports that on 24 November Delta and Tata had been cleared to participate in the new tender, after Delta had filed a complaint against its disqualification.

The government invited new expressions of interest in the project on 15 December, and Delta revealed today that it had made an application to halt the process.