Monrovia – The Liberia Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (LEITI) has unveiled its 15th Report, revealing the extractive sector’s significant contribution of US$182.35 million, constituting 17.16% of the government’s domestic revenue envelope for the fiscal year 2021-2022.
The top contributors to government revenue during this period were Arcelor Mittal Liberia Limited, Bea Mountain Mining Company, and Firestone Liberia Incorporated, contributing 78 million, 37 million, and 17 million, respectively.
The report also detailed the social and environmental expenditures of extractive companies, totaling US$34 million. Mandatory social spending accounted for US$28 million, voluntary social expenditure amounted to US$5 million, and environmental expenses, both mandatory and voluntary, reached US$1 million each.
LEITI, established in 2009, focuses on promoting transparency in the governance of extractive resources, covering mining, oil and gas, agriculture, and forestry. The report offers comprehensive insights into the activities of companies involved in mineral extraction, logging, as well as the production and processing of rubber, oil palm, cocoa, and other resources.
Key production figures from the report include gold production at 14,092 kg, iron ore production at 6,852,999 metric tons, and diamond production at 87,732 carats. Round logs production stood at 263,323 cubic meters, while rubber production reached 129,417 tons, and crude palm oil production amounted to 53,940 metric tons.
The report highlighted that exports from the mining, forestry, and agriculture sectors amounted to US$1.472 billion, representing 99.23% of the total country exports during the period. Bea Mountain Mining Corporation led the exports with 48%, followed by Arcelor Mittal with 40%, and MNG Gold with 9%.
The extractive industries employed 12,017 people in 2022, constituting 0.50% of the country’s labor force, with 21% of these employees being female.
In March 2023, the LEITI Multi-Stakeholders Group (MSG) collaborated with Parker & Associates LLC and BDO-UK to produce Liberia’s 15th EITI Report, encompassing various aspects such as the legal framework, fiscal regime, extractive sector overview, beneficial ownership disclosure, contract transparency, and more.
Liberia’s commitment to transparency was further evidenced by the launch of a new Beneficial Ownership (BO) register on September 29, 2023. The digital register aims to enhance accountability, strengthen domestic resource mobilization, and reduce risks of financial and environmental crimes. The full register will be available in March 2024, enabling companies to declare their beneficial ownership.
As part of efforts to formalize the artisanal mining sector, the LEITI summarized environmental and social standards laws for artisanal and small-scale mining in Liberia, supported by GIZ. The report will be approved and launched by the MSG, disseminated across nine of the fifteen counties in the coming months.
While the LEITI continues to make strides, it faces reporting challenges. C. Mike Doryen, Chairman of the MSG, announced the enforcement of Body Regulations 001 for Liberia’s 16th EITI Report, intending to name and shame delinquent government institutions and companies refusing to provide extractive sector information.
“While the LEITI continues to make headways, the institution still faces reporting challenges. Some government institutions and companies deliberately refuse to provide requested extractive sector information during the production of the Report,” Doryen announced during the launch of the 15th EITI report on Tuesday.
“Consequently, the MSG has mandated the Secretariat to bring into force the Body’s Regulations 001 during and after the production of Liberia’s 16th EITI Report, which will take the country to its next validation. By this, the Secretariat will extract from the final 16th EITI Report all delinquent government institutions and companies and publicly name and shame them. The MSG believes this will ensure compliance and adherence to EITI implementation in the country.”
Doryen emphasized that the report’s approval and launch marked a significant moment, allowing for nationwide dissemination and discussions with citizens. He thanked the MSG, LEITI Secretariat, and the government for their support, underscoring the importance of transparency in managing Liberia’s abundant extractive resources.
LEITI, a member of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), joined in 2007 and became an autonomous agency in 2009. Governed by a board coalition of government, civil society, and the private sector, LEITI continues its mission to ensure transparency over payments and revenues in Liberia’s extractive sectors. To date, the organization has published 15 EITI reports, with international partners serving as observers on the LEITI board.
Liberia was one of the first countries to implement the EITI, under former president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, but was suspended from the initiative in September 2018 due to reporting delays and the lack of a multi-stakeholder group to oversee the process. However, in 2020 EITI board lifted Liberia’s temporary suspension. A statement issued back then said Liberia had shown improvement in implementation related to stakeholder oversight and the publication of outstanding EITI reports.
Doryen noted that the successful lifting of Liberia’s suspension from the EITI and the timely publication of reports were major accomplishments during his tenure as Chairman of the MSG. Doryen expressed gratitude to the LEITI Secretariat headed by Jeffrey N. Yates and MSG members for their dedicated efforts in achieving these milestones.