The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari has called on foreign investors to look the way of the NIgeria mining sector.
The Minister of State while receiving the South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr.
Lee In-tae who paid him a courtesy visit in his office assured them of government support and conducive working environment.
Earlier, Ambassador In-tae revealed that South Korea is now ready to revive the MoU signed with the Ministry in 2004 as a result of his country’s desire to strengthen trade between the two countries.
“I am here to find out the best way to collaborate with Nigeria in the area of mining, I know that there are many mineral resources in Nigeria, I am not an economist nor a geologist but I have the energy to promote the relationship between Nigeria and South Korea.” The Ambassador disclosed that there are many South Korean investors who are interested in investing in Nigeria but this has been hampered by a dearth of geological information on the mineral types and occurrence in Nigeria.
He urged the ministry to make available to his embassy the necessary information for onward transmission to investors back in his home country.
The minister assured him that immediate steps would be taken to supply his office with all the relevant details as the Ministry is ready to revive the previous MoU.
He added that Nigeria has a lot to learn from South Korea in many aspects especially in the area of minerals development now that Nigerian government is focused on diversifying the economy.
Bawa noted that before now, Nigeria’s major collaboration with most countries has been in the area of oil and gas.
“Nigeria is known for oil and gas while very little is known about mineral resources but Nigeria has lot of potentials in minerals.
We have major minerals that are needed in the world market including Tin, Zinc, Gold, limestone and so on and we seek collaborations with countries that have relative advantage in terms of technology and capacity,” he said.
He noted that South Korea is very important in the world economy and is worth doing business with, being a country that has moved not just from a developing country to a developed country but to a major economy in the whole world.
The Minister said he believed that South Korea would need lots of minerals from Nigeria just as the country too could leverage on the other’s technology.
“We need to revive the MoU with your country so that we can continue from where we stopped especially in the area of capacity building, machinery, geological data and other collaborations that will further strengthen the relationship between Nigeria and South Korea.
He called on South Korean investors to beam their light towards the Nigeria mining sector and reassured them of favourable terms and conducive environment.
Speaking on the 2004 MoU, the Special adviser to the Minister on technical matters, Mr.
Olapade Davies revealed that the Memorandum on development of mineral resources has a lifespan of five (5) years.
He said the process of reviving the MoU is already in progress and would be concluded during the Bi National Conference that will be organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this year.
Mixed period for miners Base metals were mixed on the London Metals Exchange yesterday and the gold price is a couple of dollars higher, nearing US$1,223 an ounce on the spot market.
Copper company First Quantum Minerals closed higher.
The copper subsector was the only positive mover in Toronto where the overall S&P/TSX Composite Index metals and mining sector closed 0.57% lower yesterday.
First Quantum Minerals’ (TSX: FM) gain of 0.42% outweighed Nevsun Resources’ (TSX: NSU) drop of 1.44% and Lundin Mining closing 0.28% lower.
The possibility of a strike is looming at the Escondida copper mine in Chile where unionised members are voting this week.
In the US, copper major FreeportMcMoRan closed up 0.56%.
In London, African-focused Randgold Resources (LSE: RRS) closed up more than 1%.
Australian gold miner Regis Resources (ASX: RRL), which has been trading close to a 52-week high of late, was down more than 11% despite its June quarter results contributing to record annual gold production and the company forecasting a “strong year” to follow.
Australian diversified miners were in positive territory at the time of writing, with BHP (ASX: BHP) up 1.67% and graphite producer Syrah Resources (ASX: SYR) regaining some of yesterday’s losses, up 3.4%.
Meanwhile China’s manufacturing purchasing managers index was lower than forecast at 51.2 for July as factories faced challenges at home and abroad, Mining Journal reports Bloomberg as saying