Monday, April 15, 2013

THE NEWS (Monrovia)


April 15 2013
In April 2011, Len Lindstrom, President of Liberty International Mineral Corporation and the Liberty Group of Companies was a delegate at Liberia's first LIMEP Mineral Conference, and was very excited as he had just finished winning his legal battle against the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy.
He gave a glowing interview telling international investors to "Take Heart, Liberia's Mineral Sector has greatly improved and investment in Liberia is much safer."
However, the Canadian investor who is attending the ongoing Mining, Energy and Petroleum exhibition conference at the Monrovia City Hall, is less upbeat about the look of things as another two years have passed and he has received nothing from the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy except promises towards returning his six mineral concessions as mandated by the Courts of Liberia.
Lindstrom started his business in Liberia in June 2004 when all other mineral companies were less enthusiastic about investing in Liberia. He was the largest mineral concession holder in the country with six companies encompassing the Liberty Gold and Diamond Mining Group, employed a workforce of up to 23 professional geologists, 300 Liberian employees and workers and spent over US$20 million.
Speaking to reporters on the side lines of the ongoing discussions at the Monrovia City Hall, Lindstrom reiterated that in October 2008, when his licenses were due to be extended in accordance with the Mineral Contracts, the Ministry refused to extend them.
He indicated that despite having paid over $1,150,000 (One Million One Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) in mineral license fees to the Government of Liberia, and conducting exploration for several years, the Ministry began to illegally grant Lindstrom's properties to other companies.
After two years of trying to resolve the matter in a friendly manner with Lands and Mines, Lindstrom was left with no choice but to take the matter to Court in October 2010, and on March 11, 2011, Liberty won the court case against the government of Liberia at the Civil Law Court.
The court ruled that there was gross violation of the Fundamental rights and Constitutional rights" of the Company.
In its ruling, the court said "the actions of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy were illegal, irregular, improper and unlawful" and ordered the reinstatement of the company's licenses with official extension for a minimum of four years and with all rights and privileges pertaining thereto."
Lindstrom said another two years have passed and he is still waiting to receive his properties back in accordance with the Court's ruling.
The legal counsels for the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy took an appeal to the Supreme Court despite advice by a former Solicitor General of Liberia not to do so.
The Head of the Liberty Gold and Diamond Mining Company made a case to Liberian economic managers that he intends to lead the way for a huge traffic of Canadian investors, something he's convinced will positively help shape the Liberian economy.
However, he stated that many international companies and investors are closely watching to see how the Ministry treats the Liberty case, because if a company can invest twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) and years of hard work only to have their licenses illegally expropriated after making large mineral discoveries, they know the same thing could happen to them.
Lindstrom said: "It would be wise for Liberia to remember that Canada is well known as the world's leader in exploration and support industry, and that more capital is raised on the Toronto Stock Exchange for exploration and mining companies than anywhere else in the world."
Lindstrom expressed hope to see a quick and peaceful resolution of the matter.
Lindstrom, a Canadian Evangelist says he enjoys the Mineral Conference and still has high aspirations and faith in the Liberia Mineral Sector, which he promoted for years around the world in international conferences.