THE INQUIRER - JUSTICE KEY TO INVESTOR'S CONFIDENCE states Liberty CEO Lindstrom
JUSTICE KEY TO INVESTOR'S CONFIDENCE ...states Liberty CEO Lindstrom
April 13 2011
Investors take heart! Len Lindstrom, the President CEO of Liberty Gold and Diamond group of companies who is one of the delegates at Liberia’s first large resource investment conference currently being held at the packed out City Hall, stated, “Justice is alive and well in Liberia and the Judicial system is independent and acting with impartiality and willingness to rule on the true side of Justice to protect investors in the country’s rich resource sector!” So stated Lindstrom after winning a major Judgment against the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy!
At first Mr. Lindstrom did not want to make any comment in the press and even refrained from comment when we asked for an interview outside the courthouse on March 3rd and then again on March 11th when Liberty received the actual Judgment against Lands, Mines and Energy, but his flyer has a Disclosure of the strongly worded Judgment received from the Court which again caught our attention! The Disclosure reads as follows and contains direct quotes from the Judgment.
“The failure of the respondent to adhere to its own regulations and its own mining law is a gross violation of the fundamental rights as well his constitutional rights of the Petitioner in this case. Wherefore, and in view of the foregoing the motion for summary judgment is hereby granted and that the act of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy is hereby declared illegal, irregular, improper, unlawful and the termination of the movant licenses are hereby ordered reinstated forthwith with official extension for at least four years from the current date with all rights and privileges as pertaining thereto. AND IT IS HEREBY SO ORDERED.” Extract from the ruling indicated.
This should be highly encouraging news not only to Liberty and their shareholders but also to the hundreds of delegates, investors and international companies at the Mineral conference where interest in the country’s rich resources of gold, diamonds, iron and oil is at an all-time fevered pitch even though the main concern of many is whether or not the Government of Liberia can and will assure investors that after they invest large capital into the country that their properties will not be expropriated, their licenses cancelled and their investment lost or forfeited without due process of law as had happened to Lindstrom.
Concerning the ongoing mineral conference, Lindstrom said, “This conference is a milestone for the development of the mineral sector of Liberia that is largely concerned with attracting a much larger pool of investors towards the country’s rich and diverse mining sector.”
When quizzed by the journalist about the challenge of corruption and undue maneuvering against investors he stressed that these are challenges that any post-conflict society must grapple with.
He intimated that Liberia has done a fairly good job to date in institutionalizing forums for redress and accountability. He particularly stressed the Judiciary and a strong national political will that deals with those individuals and groups who fall short of the public trust; he however emphasized that more is still desired to further heighten investor confidence, hoping that the ongoing gathering will deal with this matter and concern. He encouraged those investors at the conference and abroad to consider Liberia as a destination for their capital to move ahead understanding the long list of reforms that should protect their investment and other aspirations. Lindstrom repeatedly stated that Security of Tenure is of paramount importance to any investor.
Lindstrom’s story is one of bold faith, solid commitment and entrepreneurial spirit coupled with a strong sense of corporate social responsibility. The Liberty Group of Companies received their initial mineral licenses in June 2004 and immediately began systematic reconnaissance programs on the territories under license at a time when few or no other investors were willing to even consider Liberia let alone undertake the huge risk of commencing aggressive programs in the country, giving Liberty a huge first-mover advantage in the country.
In October 2005 the Liberty licenses were delineated down to 9,150 square kilometers based on exploration results coupled with knowledge gained of alluvial mining activities within the Liberty licensed concessions indicating high potential of hard-rock deposits. From 2004 straight through to late 2008 the Liberty Group of Companies engaged in exploration and was often referred to by certain executive at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy as the most aggressive and committed exploration company in the country and was frequently referred to as a prime example of how a serious exploration company should be operating in Liberia.
During this period Liberty spent multiplied millions of dollars in exploration and corporate development, employed hundreds of local Liberians, had a team of over 20 professional geologists, sponsored 21 Geological students in the University of Liberia, undertook ten huge Faith-based Good-will campaigns throughout the country, assisted in humanitarian efforts, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars building roads into its more advanced prospects in preparation for large drill programs, collected almost 90,000 samples, conducted large geophysical surveys, an initial drill program on one of its properties, and continued its exploration non-stop year-round even through the worst of rainy season to rapidly advance its projects despite the additional costs, highly promoted the Republic of Liberia and continually lauded the Government and Her Excellency Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for making great strides in her frequently stated goal of reducing and eliminating corruption and establishing the Republic of Liberia as an increasingly safe, highly potential and friendly place for international investment, which presentations by Lindstrom were made repeatedly to mining company executives and heads of financial institutions in numerous large Mineral Conventions and International Investment settings around the world, and of most importance the company discovered 17 highly potential project areas for hard-rock gold deposits some of which based on geological evidence gathered by Liberty’s team of geologists strongly indicate very high potential of hosting multi-million ounce or world class deposits of gold.
Then as Liberia began to gain heightened interest from the international community and many new companies began to come into country, Liberty experienced what is a well-known Liberian expression, “Monkey work and baboon eat,” resulting in a two and a half year battle over its mineral licenses that continually caused the company to lose tens of millions of dollars in foreign investment, extreme hardship and suffering to its local Liberian workforce and management, and almost succeeded in destroying the company!
But Len Lindstrom is a determined fighter and not the kind of leader to run away like a whipped dog with its tail between its legs and refusing to give up, worked extremely hard to resolve the issue, until he was finally left with no choice except to take the matter to court. Now he exuberantly and confidently stated, “Thank God the Judicial system and due process of Law is alive and well in Liberia and that after seeing the preponderance of evidence and exhibits in the Court records, two different Judges in the highest Civil Law Court of Montserrado County have clearly and strongly ruled in favor of Liberty resulting in the order to reinstate and extend all our mineral licenses and properties which will not only serve to protect the large investment made by our more than 700 committed investors but also provide a very strong message to the international investment community that investing in Liberia is continually becoming safer which in turn should further the mandate and desire of the President as she works tirelessly to bring in investors who will help to develop the nation and its resources and to ultimately better the lifestyles of all the people of Liberia!”