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All of Liberia’s extractive sectors suffered dramatically during the civil war that ended in 2003. The country acted as a major trader in Sierra Leonian blood diamonds and an exporter of timber which was believed to be funding Sierra Leonean rebels. UN sanctions against timber and diamonds were lifted in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Following the inauguration of the Sirleaf administration in 2006, Liberia signed several multibillion-dollar concession agreements in the iron ore and palm oil industries with numerous multinational corporations, including BHP Billiton and ArcelorMittal.

Quick Facts

Iron Ore

Primary Mineral

2 Billion MT

Estimated Reserves


Tax Benefits


Active resource businesses

Liberia is underlain by the Man Shield, which comprises two major areas of Archaean and Palaeoproterozoic rocks. The Archaean basement, which is of Liberian age (2.5–3.0 Ga) and extends across central and western Liberia, is characterised by a granite-greenstone association that is dominated by granitoid gneisses and migmatites, which are infolded with supracrustal metavolcanic and metasedimentary rocks and intruded by a younger igneous complex. The supracrustal rocks form discontinuous narrow, elongate ‘schist belts’. The metamorphic grade is generally amphibolite facies with greenschist facies dominating the schist belts. The boundary between Archaean and Palaeoproterozoic-aged rocks (the Eburnean-age province, 1.8–2.5 Ga) is not well defined in eastern Liberia, but is generally considered to lie along the north-east-trending Cestos Shear Zone. The south-eastern part of this province in Liberia, extending west from Côte d’Ivoire to Greenville, consists of tightly folded paragneiss, migmatite and amphibolite. The north-western part of the province, to the north of Greenville, has similar lithologies and geophysical characteristics, but younger isotopic ages.

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