Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, Honourable Minister for Mines and Steel Development

Nigeria hopes for gold project to boost mining sector, grow GDP: Minister

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Nigeria’s long-awaited first industrial gold project is on course, and it is billed to attain full-scale production in 2021.

Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, Honourable Minister for Mines and Steel Development, informed reporters in Abuja, FCT, Friday, October 9, 2020, that the success of the gold project would be significant in boosting mining in the country, regarded as Africa’s biggest oil producer.

ConsumerConnect reports Thor Explorations Limited is spending $98 million to develop the current project.

The Lagos-based Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) is backing Thor Explorations through a $86 million debt-equity financing package, agency report also said.

The gold project will have an annual average output of 80,000 ounces.

Adegbite also stated that the Canada-based company’s Segilola Gold Project mine in the South-West of the country is expected to yield gold by the end of first quarter 2021.

Nigeria has sizable untapped deposits of metals, including iron ore, gold, zinc and lead, but almost all extraction is done on an artisanal (small-scale) or manual basis.

However, in the renewed efforts at reviving the gold industry, the Nigerian Government desires to increase mining’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to three percent by 2025, from the current less than 0.1 percent of GDP in the economy.

According to the Minister, Thor Explorations is “the proverbial company that dares to jump in the shark-infested water and see whether it survives.”

Progress at Segilola will be crucial to attracting other mining companies to the country, as it offers investors incentives, such as tax holidays and Customs’ waivers on imported equipment, disclosed Adegbite.

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