Liberia – The outbreak of the virus in West Africa has led to a declaration of force majeure by contractors working on a Phase Two expansion project at Yekepa and Buchanan. The employees are being moved out of the country.

ArcelorMittal currently mines and ships 5m tonnes of iron ore per year from Phase One at Yekepa and Buchanan, and the company said these operations “continue as normal at this time and to date have not been affected by the situation in Liberia”. However, ArcelorMittal will assess the potential impact of the force majeure on the project schedule at Phase Two.
Declaring that it remains “fully committed” to Liberia, the company said it intends to restart full construction of Phase Two “at the earliest opportunity”. In the mean time, other employees are securing equipment and carrying out activities relating to logistics, engineering and procurement.

Bill Scotting, CEO of ArcelorMittal Mining, said the company is “taking every precaution to protect all of our employees on the ground in Liberia” but that “emergency procedures and other measures” make it possible to continue with Phase One. Precautions include the provision of thermoflash scanners to test for fever and the distribution of 500 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) to health care sites, plus additional training.