Nigeria is blessed with 200 million ounces of gold reserves, the federal government has revealed as it commissioned a Nigeria-Canada gold project in.
Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo said this at a virtual event as he commissioned the Dukia Gold and Precious Metals Project in Abuja.
He said Nigeria has potential reserves of 200 million ounces of gold and the Dukia Gold project would create new opportunities for Nigeria miners, especially small scale miners.
“The Dukia Gold & Precious Metals Refinery Project, championed by the High Commissions of Nigeria and Canada, has been seven years in the making.
This, he said would create jobs and unleash the economic potential of mining communities.
The project, “will create primary employment for local artisanal miners and mining cooperatives across the solid minerals value chain. Off-take agreements between Dukia Gold and local mining communities and owners of recyclable gold will be a useful provider of jobs in our post-covid economy,” he said.
The Vice President also commissioned nationwide Dukia-Heritage Bank Gold and Precious Metals Buying Centres which is part of a valuable private sector collaboration.
The buying centre is to provide a sustainable way for Nigerians to exchange their gold jewellery and other precious items for cash.
“This system of exchange not only helps encourage a culture of recycling, but will also serve as a complementary source for the raw materials needed for the Dukia Gold & Precious Metals Refining Company.”
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, in his remarks, said the launch of the initiative would bring about efficiency and transparency to physical trading and transactions of mineral commodities.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, Minister of State, Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah, said Nigeria is blessed with abundant mineral resources waiting to be harnessed for economic development.
The Managing Director of Dukia Gold, Bose Owolabi said the company would work with its refining partners and stakeholders to ensure that the project was fully implemented and met international standards. She added that the Heritage Bank Raw Materials Buying Centres would be opened at designated branches of the bank across the country from Tuesday, June 16, 2020.