Described now as one of the last areas of virtually unexplored rocks in the world, interest and exploration in Liberia has rapidly increased, since the end of 14 years of civil war, as international companies come to understand its potential for major bedrock gold deposits and diamond rich kimberlite pipes.
Two thirds of Liberia is underlain by Archaean and Proterozoic rocks of the Leo Man Shield, which is part of the West African Craton that, prior to continental break-up, was once part of a larger Craton in West Africa and Brazil. Shield areas host around 50% of the world’s giant gold deposits (>100 tonnes gold) and a multitude of smaller deposits, of the 1M oz class; important komatiite-hosted nickel sulphide deposits; the Great Dyke PGE deposits; volcanic hosted massive sulphide deposits; and important kimberlite and lamproite-hosted diamond pipes. West Africa is famous for its Birimian volcano-sedimentary belts and granitic rocks, which are between 2,200 million and 2,000 million years old. In Liberia the Birimian occupies the eastern third of the country and borders to the west the older cratonic core. It is this geology that has made Ghana Africa’s second largest, and Mali its third largest, gold producer
- Estimated >3,443 Mt reserves
- Globally #3 iron exporter in 1960s and #1 producer in Africa
- Current major iron projects in Liberia: Yekepa - 1Bt, Putu – 1.1Bt, Goe Fantro- 0.05Bt, Bong - 0.29Bt
- Liberia geographical position is crucial to regional mining infrastructure as major iron ore deposits in Guinea could be transported through Liberia’s ports and regional infrastructure projects initiated.
- Major iron ore deals have been signed in Liberia over the last decade with a value of approximately $10 billion.
- Liberia’s “Cestos Shear zone” is part of the West African gold fields which hosts Siguiri mine (Guinea), Ity mine (Ivory Coast), Syama Mine (Mali). There is an overwhelming prospectivity for major gold deposits
- Strong E-W and WNW shear zones associated with greenstone
- Widespread occurrence of gold workings in all provinces
- High-grade gold mineralization has been found at New Liberty Mine and could soon become Liberia’s first industrial goldmine.
- Alluvial diamonds mined widely in Northern, Central and Western Liberia
- Highly prospective Archaean craton
- Kimberlite dykes and pipes suggest primary source
- Potential areas are still available for further investment
- Liberia became a Kimberley Process participant on May 4, 2007. Official diamond export recommenced in September 2007