The Minister of State for Mines and steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari has expressed federal government’s readiness to partner with investors to develop iron ore mining and add value to the economy.
Bawa-Bwari disclosed this during a courtesy visit by officials of Kogi Iron Nigeria Limited in his office at the Ministry’s Headquarters in Abuja, stating that one cannot ignore the huge economic gains that are associated with iron ore mining and processing.
He pointed out that it will help curb the exorbitant importation of scrapped steel products.
He commended them for their resilience in overcoming challenges in the development of the project and assured of government’s ease of doing business, which has led to the inflow of investors into the country.
“The mineral resources the country is endowed with should be properly harnessed in order to overcome our socio-economic development and this is attainable with the support of the investors in the sector.
He said the administration is optimistic that iron ore mining will industrialize the economy and, consequently increase funding and develop infrastructure that can accommodate indigenous mining that is of global standard.
In his opening remarks, the country manager, Mr. Alabi Samuel, said the visit was to update the Ministry and Minister on their activities in the on-going iron ore project.
He recalled that the group commenced the exploration in 2010 and finished 2013 and after that went into determining the mineral reserve, its quality and products that can be benefited from the mining.
The chief executive, Mr. Martin Wood, said his company has spent many years exploring the economic way to develop the project and decided not to just build an iron ore deposit for export but to build a mine of iron ore, which is the feed stock for steel production in Nigeria that can be sold in the local market.
This, he said, is a better project for shareholders of his company, their partners and Nigeria because at the moment import a lot of steel products and the company can complement by producing high quality steel products that can enable the existing raw mills and converters operating in Nigeria to manufacture high quality wire and sheet steel for infrastructural development.
He assured that they can produce high quality steel product that is internationally recognized from the Agbaja Iron Ore with low phosphorous and other elements, as confirmed by their South African consultants and as a proof have been able to produce 50 kilos of high quality steel product.