We are optimising the minerals value chain – Adegbite

One of the initiatives designed to support the mining sector in Nigeria is the optimisation of the mineral .

The ultimate objective is to minimise the export of raw materials, create value along the chain that would increase industrial and manufacturing activities, create employment and foster skills development.

“Presently, our priority is anchored in the gold sector. We are creating a gold ecosystem to minimize the high rate of illegal gold mining and smuggling, increase government’s revenue from the resource, create jobs, and improve environmental and social stewardship.

Through the ongoing Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Initiative (PAGMI) we are organising, formalising, and equipping Artisanal and Small Gold Miners (ASGMs) in Kaduna, Kebbi, Osun, Niger, Ebonyi, Sokoto, Gombe, and Ekiti, Minister of Mines and Steel Development Arch Olamilekan Adegbite stated.

He added that, miners of gold and other metals will be linked to formal markets through licensed precious metals buying centres. “One of such initiatives is the recently launched Dukia-Heritage Bank Buying Centre.

Two gold refineries, Kian Smith and Dukia Gold and Precious Metals Refining Company Limited, are currently being built to increase the value of gold in the country for the benefit of all stakeholders.

We are fast-tracking mineral processing in the country using a cluster approach. Each cluster will be equipped with modern equipment and technologies to support a network of miners, processors, skills development providers, logistics providers, etc.”

He stated that other ongoing initiatives to stimulate the growth of the industry include: “working with several stakeholders to design mining specific credit enhancement instruments (miners will be able to access long-term finance at concessionary rates through these instruments).

Generating integrated geoscience information that will help in de-risking the mining sector – This is through the ongoing National Integrated Mining Exploration Project (NIMEP) embarked in 2018. Target minerals under this first phase include gold, platinum group metals (PGM), nickel, chromium, lead/zinc, barite, iron ore, copper etc.

And developing a mineral economic corridor strategy to address inadequate infrastructure for the mining value chain to function – Large scale infrastructure will be developed for large scale mines within the corridors. This will also enhance the competitiveness and diversification of the Nigerian economy since the infrastructure will be shared with other economic sectors.”