Nigeria’s $98 mln first industrial gold production to start operations in Q1 2021
Nigeria is set to begin its first industrial gold production by the first quarter of 2021 as a $98 million gold refinery being built by Thor Exploration Limited is nearing completion, Minister of Mines and Steel said on Friday.
The country’s first industrial gold project is on course to enter production next year, Olamilekan Adegbite told reporters in Abuja, noting that the success of the project will serve as an impetus for mining in the country that has a large deposit of gold but left for illegal miners to have a field day, using crude means to exploit it.
Adegbite told journalists in Abuja that the country’s first industrial gold project is on course to enter production next year, noting that the success of the project will be crucial for boosting mining in the country.
According to him, Thor Explorations Ltd. is spending $98 million to develop the project, which will have an annual average output of 80,000 ounces.
The Canada-based company’s Segilola mine in the southwest should yield gold by the end of the first quarter of 2021, Adegbite said on Friday.
Thor is “the proverbial company that dares to jump in the shark-infested water and see whether it survives,” Adegbite said. Progress at Segilola will be key to attracting other mining companies to Nigeria, which offers incentives including tax holidays and customs waivers on imported equipment, he said.
Lagos-based Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) is providing Thor Explorations Ltd a $86 million debt-equity financing package to help realise the dream.
The West African nation has sizable untapped deposits of metals including iron ore, gold, zinc and lead, but almost all extraction is done on a small-scale or manual basis. The government wants to increase mining’s contribution to gross domestic product to 3% by 2025, from less than 0.1% currently.
Successive administrations have pledged to grow mining’s role in the economy since Nigeria restored multi-party democracy in 1999. Legislation to expand the sector was passed more than a decade ago.