Nigeria ranked among most conducive for mining – Experts

Stakeholders in the mining sector have described Nigeria as one of the conducive environments to mine.
Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari said this is due to the present government’s commitment to growing the solid minerals and mining sector which has led to about $3.32 billion private investments into mining projects.
Speaking at the just concluded Africa Down Under 2018 Conference on a topic titled ‘A New Dawn ln Nigerian Mining Sector’ in Australia, he said given this new trend, private investments into mining projects covering gold mining and refining, foundry works, lead/zinc exploration and production, tin and columbite mining and processing among others have experienced unprecedented leap in production.
The minister stressed that the present government’s resolve to hinge on the experience gained at the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan Focus Lab where the ministry focused on removing challenges hindering formal exploitation of gold, tin and lead-zinc mineral endowment following reports of massive exports of these mineral commodities to foreign smelters against Nigeria’s low production figures.
“A new export guidelines for the export of mineral commodities have been developed, which seeks to ease challenges surrounding grant of export permits and licensing issues.
“Formal mining is on the rise in Nigeria and this is evidenced by the number of mineral titles held by investors.
“Prominent among these projects include Symbol Mining/Goidal Resources that are currently developing an open pit mine for exploiting lead-zinc deposits located in Bauchi and Nasarawa states.
“First Patriots are already mining and producing 5,000 tonnes per month leadzinc concentrates; Thor Explorations Limited that are continuing with mine development and exploration works over Segilola Gold Project; two coal mines operated by Eta-zuma Group and Ashaka Cem Plc; and Promethean Resources that engages in the production of tin and columbite concentrates for export.
“The Nigerian mining Sector is now more than ever an investors haven evidenced from the high grade deposits exploited by current operators coupled with the conducive and competitive investment climate comprising 100% ownership of mining project as secured by the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007; waiver of customs and import duties for plant, machinery and equipment imported for mining operations; tax holidays of three to five years; free transfersbility of funds; permission to retain and use earned foreign exchange; capital allowances of up to 95% of qualifying capital expenditure and predictability of environmental costs.
He added that for those having fears about easy transportation of finished products, the government has gone ahead with strategies to solve challenges through the implementation of a National Integrated Infrastructure Masterplan.
“The dredging of the River Niger has been concluded while works at Warri Port and the Escravos Channel is about to be completed.
These works would facilitate export and import of goods.
He said: “The Central Corridor Railway Line linking Warri Port to Abuja through mineral resources endowed regions of the North Central, home to iron ore, steel plants, coal resource and pegmatite-bearing lithium is under construction.
“The rail line from Warri Port through Ajaokuta to ltakpe is already completed.
All these are aimed towards diversifying the Nigerian economy through solid minerals.
Nigeria before now was a mining destination before oil and gas took over.
So, the new direction is to generate revenue and jobs through the mining sector,” he said.
Chairman of Symbol Mining, Australia, Andrew Simpson, an investor in Lead/Zinc mining in Bauchi state stated that Nigeria’s Lead/Zinc ore contains 22% zinc compared with world’s average of 6%.
Chairman Kogi Iron, Dr.
lan Burston at the business luncheon said mining was difficult in Nigeria but the minister and the present government have created a conducive and friendly environment for mining businesses to thrive.

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