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Liberia: Community divided over whether Avesoro Resources has met obligations, including to house displaced families - company responds

Some aggrieved community members of Grand Cape Mount County in western Liberia have reportedly threatened to take Avesoro Resources, formerly Aureus Mining, to court for allegedly reneging on promises contained in its concession agreement. One representative of the aggrieved citizens, Elizabeth Fahnbulleh, reportedly appealed to Green Advocates International to help the affected community institute a lawsuit against Aureus Mining for allegedly uprooting them from Kinjor, and for failing to complete construction of housing units embarked on for the purpose of relocating citizens. However, in a letter signed by local leadership, including the chief, representatives of elders, youth, and women from the affected communities of Kinjor and Larjor in Grand Cape County, the assertions attributed to Elizabeth Fahnbulleh were dismissed as not representing the relationship between the mining company and the community.  

In response to the allegations from aggrieved community members, Avesoro Resources said, among other things, “Avesoro has constructed a local school, church and mosque, and the construction of the Kinjor medical clinic is complete and ready to be turned over to the Ministry of Health of the Government of Liberia for operation”

 

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Company response
29 April 2017

Aureus Mining response

Author: Avesoro Resources [formerly Aureus Mining] (United Kingdom)

"Avesoro Resources [formerly Aureus Mining] has strong community relations and places significant emphasis on supporting, empowering and collaborating with our host communities...Avesoro has constructed a local school, church and mosque, and the construction of the Kinjor medical clinic is complete and ready to be turned over to the Ministry of Health of the Government of Liberia for operation. The company remains committed to actively supporting and developing partnerships with our local stakeholders.”

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Article
29 April 2017

Community leaders distance themselves from statements alleging they seek to file claims against Aureus mine for failure to complete construction of houses for relocations

Author: Cholo Brooks, Global News Network (Liberia)

"Citizens Of Kinjor And Larjor Communities React To Lawsuit Against Aureus Mining", 25 April 27

Citizens including chiefs, elders, youth groups and Imam of the affected communities of Kinjor and Larjor in Grand Cape County have sharply reacted to recent statement in the media and attributed to Ms. Elizabeth ‘Ma Pai’ Fahnbulleh asking Green Advocates International to help institute a lawsuit against Aureus Mining...We the project affected communities of Kinjor-Larjor, representing the 322 family heads that voluntarily resettled in New Kinjor and Larjor in 2013, seek to be partners of choice with BMMC (formerly Aureus Mining) for developing mineral resources and helping to ensure that the companies’ investments in these resources enhance social and economic development locally and nationally, as an important part of accomplishing this goal...The purpose of this position statement is to reject and disassociate ourselves from recent statements attributed to Ms. Elizabeth “Ma Pai” Fahnbulleh...We, the residents and leaders of “Kinjor”, indisputably and categorically reject, denounce, and disassociate ourselves from the statements attributed to Ms. Elizabeth “Ma Pai” Fahnbulleh. The alleged statements are malicious, unfounded, baseless, and misleading. Moreover, the allegations are intended to undermine BMMC’s social and economic contributions to our community...

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Article
29 April 2017

Community members seek to file claims against Aureus Mining over alleged failure to complete construction of houses for relocation

Author: Cholo Brooks, Global News Network (Liberia)

"Aureus Mining Drag[ed] To Court By Aggrieved Citizens", 13 April 2017

Some aggrieved citizens of Grand Cape Mount County in western Liberia have reportedly threatened to take to court the New Liberty Gold Mine, Aureus Mining [now Avesoro Resources] for allegedly reneging on promises contained in its concession agreement. The citizens, according to a local daily are claiming to be affected by the operations of the company in the County have officially requested the Environmental Lawyers of Liberia (Green Advocates International) for legal assistance...The International Finance Corporation [a member of the World Bank Group] is said to have pumped over US$19 Million into the New Liberty Gold Mine, but the project according to local residents, has not improve their livelihood as promised. One of the aggrieved citizens’ representative, Elizabeth Fahnbulleh who spoke to a local daily, the Insight Newspaper, appealed to Green Advocates International to help them institute lawsuit against Aureus Mining for allegedly uprooting them from Kinjor, and for failing to complete construction of housing units embarked on for their citizens’ relocation purpose. Aureus Mining authority is yet to comment on the citizens claims...

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