Liberia has been plagued by civil war for several years, and, as a result, foreign investment has all but ceased. Liberia?s main mineral products are gold and diamonds, although iron ore used to be a major product.
Artisinal workings account for 98% of gold and diamonds produced. Liberia officially produced 155 000 carats of diamonds in 2001, with this number expected to be several orders of magnitude higher, due to extensive smuggling with bordering Sierre Leone, Guinea and Cote de Ivoire.
There are thought to be between 20 and 30 000 artisinal miners in Liberia. Liberia is currently drafting a new Mineral Development Policy and Mining Code aimed at attracting foreign investment.
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