Lessons from foreign investments in Liberia

Improvement of the concession policy

  1. The services of legal experts should be employed in order to modernize the concession agreements and to correct omissions.

The services of legal and other experts should be solicited to examine whether the Liberian laws are up-to-date and appropriate for the purposes of protecting the economic interests of the country. The following examples may serve as illustrations.

The Liberian Revenue Law is silent on the treatment of shut-down expenses. This gap must necessarily be filled. The omission was only realized in the late 1970s with the closing down of the Liberia Mining Company (LMC).  Another issue which was not covered by the LMC Concession Agreement was the payment of severance pay by the concessionaire when it ended its mining operations in Bomi Hills and laid off some 2,000 people. The long fight (1977 – 80) between the Government of Liberia and the mining company over the severance payment was partially won by the Liberian Government. All concession agreements have this omission, therefore they should all have a provision added, which obliges its owners to pay a well defined severance pay in case of permanent or prolonged shut down of operations. This is the more important in view of the expected depletion of LAMCO’s main ore body in the Nimba Mountains in 1986.

Following the shut down of their operations in Liberia and the departure of most foreign companies, this recommendation may have lost its relevance, but it also is a living proof of its need.


  1. Concession agreements should never include provisions which are not enforced or which are redundant.

Liberians joked after LMC’s departure from Bomi Hills: 
'Bomi hills became Bomi holes'.













Improvement of
concession policy



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