AFC pledges to grow sector by over $500m

The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has stated that their goal is to grow their investments in mining, over the next few years, to over $500 million.

This is according to Senior Vice President of investments at the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) Begna Gebreyes.

Speaking ahead the upcoming Nigeria Mining Week, Gebreyes said: “The main message I’d like to share with the delegates at Nigeria Mining Week is that Nigeria is open for business and is ready to make the most of its mineral wealth. Less than 0.5% of the country’s GDP comes from minerals and mining.

“However, the country has much to offer such as coal, gold, iron ore, uranium, wolframite, columbite, tantalite and bitumen. Diversifying away from oil, which is unpredictable in pricing, is key to ensuring the country’s stability as is maximising our mineral wealth instead of importing from abroad.”

He continued: “However, it goes without saying that this will not be done at any cost. Delegates must understand that Nigeria’s mineral wealth must be exploited in a way that is inclusive and sustainable, and more thought must be given to in-country beneficiation so that Nigerians are not only producing natural resources but also manufacturing finished products.”

At the upcoming Nigeria Mining Week in Abuja from 14-16 October, Gebreyes is part of a panel discussion on ‘Understanding the needs of financial institutions and funding organizations-the financial models available to support mining projects’.

In a pre-event interview, Gebreyes explained: “There is a tremendous amount of opportunity in the mining sector all across Africa. Our goal is to grow our investments in mining, over the next few years, to over $500 million. There are many exciting projects that merit investment.”

According to the AFC SVP, one example of such an exciting project is the Segilola Gold Project in Nigeria with Thor Explorations.

He explains: “We have offered the company a $78-million financing package for its Segilola Gold Project. This funding solution includes a credit facility, a gold stream and common equity. Nigeria is known around the world as a major oil producer but much less so for its mineral resources. We are very proud to be supporting the growth of Nigeria’s fledgling mining industry.”

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