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Fact Sheet 2015–3033

The Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak and the Mineral Sectors of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone

By Omayra Bermúdez-Lugo and W. David Menzie

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2.30 MB)Abstract

The mineral sector plays a key role in the economies of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The onset of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in early 2014, together with changes in mineral market conditions, raised questions regarding the status of mining operations and of mineral development and exploration projects in all three countries. Mineral projects were the underpinnings of World Bank short-term forecasts of increases in gross domestic product (GDP) for all three countries and were expected to be the basis of future economic growth. The significant delay or cancellation of these projects could result in a major economic setback for all three countries.

In response to the uncertainty surrounding the status of mineral projects in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the National Minerals Information Center compiled information on the distribution of mines, mineral facilities, and mineral projects under development in the three countries. This fact sheet provides information on the role that the mineral sector plays in their respective economies, on the operating status of mining projects through yearend 2014, and on the coordinated actions by mining companies to support governments and international relief organizations in their efforts to contain the EVD outbreak.

First posted April 7, 2015

For additional information, contact:
Director, National Minerals Information Center
U.S. Geological Survey
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
988 National Center
Reston, VA 20192

Or visit the USGS Minerals Information Web site at

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Suggested citation:

Bermúdez-Lugo, Omayra, and Menzie, W.D., 2015, The Ebola virus disease outbreak and the mineral sectors of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2015–3033, 8 p.,

ISSN 2327–6916 (print)

ISSN 2327–6932 (online)

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