Liberia: MNG Gold Slams US$285 Million Suit as False Claims; Prepares Response to Litigation
Monrovia – Turkish gold mining company MNG Gold says allegation levied in a lawsuit by lawyers representing several communities in Bong County based on a 2017 accidental chemical spillage are “false claims”.
The firm, in a press release following a report by FrontPage Africa about the lawsuit, stressed that it is committed to addressing concerns of the affected communities, adding that it is preparing to respond to the US$285 million action for damage suit filed at the Ninth Judicial Circuit court in Bong County.
“There was a news reported on FrontPage Africa stating that “Cyanide Polluted Towns In Bong County Sue MNG Gold For US$285 Million In Damages”. We would like to inform the public and MNG Gold stakeholders that we have always and will continue to do all that is humanly possible to address any concerns of our stakeholders or allegations made in the public domain,” Erkan Yildiz, MNG Gold Communication and Social Responsibility Director said in a release.
The writ filed against the company carries a 33-count complaint including details about the aftermath of the pollution. The suit also recounts how the malfunctioning of the company’s tailing storage facility affected the environment.
Despite the report, the firm emphasized that it has always upheld environmental and safety standards to ensure that its investment operations benefits the communities it operates and at the same time contributing to Liberia’s economy.
Added the statement: “As we have previously stated at every opportunity in the past, we would like to reiterate that the safety and well-being of our neighbors, employees and contractors, wherever we operate are always our first priority and this is irreplaceable with any material benefit”.
The firm also stressed that since the unintended accident happened more than a year ago, it managed to deal with the situation with urgency by working in close coordination with government agencies and community members to ensure the least impact possible in a very short time.
It has now once again been brought to the public attention with many false claims and fictitious reports after more than a year passed, the firm said.
“MNG Gold will, in due course, appropriately respond to these allegations, as shall be necessary to protect all stakeholders, as well as its corporate reputation,” the release discloses.
MNG Gold is one of the largest contributors to the Liberian economy through its gold mines and exploration activities. The company hires 967 people at Kokoyah Gold mine where 82 per cent of them (790 people) are Liberians. It is also a source of tax revenues and royalties and a key component of Liberia’s total productive activity.
In 2017 alone, the company paid US$7.16 million to the government as tax, at the same time spending US$ 31.0 million for the procurement of local supplies.
The firm is also an essential part of the community through its wide community social responsibility (CSR) initiatives including regular stakeholder engagement activities and strategic community investments.
As part of the CSR, the firm supports livelihood activities of local communities for decreasing poverty, constructing a High School with Technical Training Program Facilities and Teacher Living Quarters, and a Market Building & Police Station with 18-Room Officers’ Living Residential Quarters, building new roads and rehabilitating existing roads and bridges, giving scholarships for higher education as contributions to the development of the communities where it operates.