Monrovia, Liberia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 16 September 2008 – The government of Liberia has disqualified South African-based Delta Mining Consolidated and India’s Tata Steel from participating in a re-launched bidding round for a US$1.5 billion (R11.25) iron ore project.
In an earlier bidding round this year, the Liberian government had placed Delta Mining Consolidated at the top of the short-list to win the Western Cluster iron ore deposit contract. Tata also was on the short list.
But Reuters reports that after questions were asked about the selection process, the authorities ordered a due diligence investigation into the companies short-listed in the original bidding round, which is now being re-launched. Bloomberg News confirms the provisional award of the contract to develop three iron ore deposits in Liberia has been cancelled.
“Cabinet has disqualified Delta Mining Consolidated and Tata Steel from participating in the new bidding process because of acts of violation attributed to them that have been brought to the attention of the government,” the government said in a statement here.
“The cabinet took the decision based on reports that the initial bidding process of the Western Cluster Iron Ore deposit projects could have been compromised by external influence or impropriety,” the statement added, without giving details.