Solway Mining Inc. has denied media reports here linking its operations to Russian Oligarchs, describing the report as a smear media campaign being propagated by distractors.
The reports and campaign come amidst an ongoing mining war between Solway Liberia and Arcelor Mittal Liberia with the latter claiming encroachment of its concession area by the former.
This development also comes as Arcelor Mittal’s third Mineral Development Agreement suffers setbacks at the Legislature amid the exchange of threatening letters between the steel giant on one hand and the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Justice and the sector ministry-Mines and Energy. GOL: ArcelorMittal fails to adhere to the terms of MDA – Liberia news The New Dawn Liberia, premier resource for latest news
Meanwhile, the standoff between the two mining companies was highlighted by President Weah this week in a local publication calling on the parties to dialogue, while emphasizing his government’s Liberianization policy.
So, who are the owners of Solway Mining Inc.?
Solway Mining Inc. is 90 percent owned and run by a group of Liberians headed by Liberian Businessman Boimah Morgan.
The exploration and operation are being financed thru a financing agreement (in the form of secured debt financing) by Solway Investment Group based in Switzerland. Solway Group operates mines and smelting plants in New Caledonia, Guatemala, Ukraine, Macedonia and Indonesia.
The Group’s total assets were valued at USD 1.23 billion in 2020, and it is the world’s largest privately owned nickel producer in a sector dominated by public companies.
The Solway Group is headed by Alexander Bronstein, an Estonian citizen currently living in Tallinn, Estonia. Estonia has been a member of NATO since 2004. Mr. Bronstein served as Vice President of the World Jewish Congress in 2007.
Solway has the only Ferronickel Plant in Ukraine (Pobuzhsky), built upon a strong, ongoing commitment to its social responsibility to the local community. The over US$200 million plant currently has an annual production capacity of over 22,000 metric tons of Nickel and over 1.1 million metric tons of dry laterite ore.
However, Solway Mining Incorporated is registered here as a Liberian business. It obtained its Exploration License in 2019. Since then it has employed over 165 staff, with 99% being Liberians.
Though it is yet to sign an MDA with the Liberian Government, the company has taken a keen interest in the communities within its project area thereby engaging in community impact projects providing jobs, scholarships to advance the children’s education, skills in vegetable production, tailoring, and other vocational training.