By Victoria Onehi
Nigeria’s mining roadmap was investors’ toast as curtains drew over the 21st Africa Down Under conference in Perth,Australia.
Deputy Director Information ,Ministry of Solid Minerals Alaba Balogun, disclosed in a statement that ecstatic investors besieged the exhibition booth of the Ministry of Solid Minerals at the Pan Pacific Hotel venue of the event following the announcement of enticing package of incentives unveiled by the Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr. Dele Alake.
Presenting a robust case for investment in the country’s mining industry, Alake had highlighted plans to set up the Nigerian Solid Minerals Corporation as the interface between the global mining industry and Nigeria adding that the laws permit investors to take profits out.
He said a major plan to show the government’s readiness to assist investors is the massive investment into geoscientic invesigation of the country’s minerals, their grade and quantum to enable investors project with greater certainty the costs of their investments and the profits they can make.
Following the prospect of the extensive occurance of lithium in Nigeria, the battery minerals making waves in the automobile industries, Alake said the progress made by investors such as Basin Limited in their Jupiter project, mining lithium in the North and Lithium King investments in the South West confirm reports of Nigeria as the most profitable destination for the precious mineral.
The minister assured investors of safety, reiterating that the government has given illegal miners 30 days to join co-operatives in addition to plans to deploy surveillance taskforce and mine police to combat criminals at the mines.
“Nigeria is open for business and with our ongoing reforms in the solid minerals sector I can assure every investor that comes to our country of conducive operating environment and good returns on their investments,” the minister said.
Backing Alake’s claim in their presentations on the Jupiter project, Dr. Stevens Davies and partner Hugh Morgan of Basin Limited disclosed that lithium deposits in several parts of Nigeria occur close to the surface requiring mainly quarrying for excavation.
They said their company is working on a nickel project that has shown good prospects in Nigeria.
Responding, investors hailed the proposed Nigerian Solid Minerals Corporation as a step in the right direction.
A mining investor, Mr. David Gardner, based in United Kingdom and Ghana told the minister in a meeting after the session how the roadmap has re-ignited his interest to invest.
Other investors at the mining forum include Mr.Guy Le Page, Director, RM Capital; Mr Ossama Aasriou, Head, Procurement, Distribution & Marketing, CTA Group; Mr.Mark Atta-Danso, chairman, Stakeholder Engagement, African Mining Professionals Association of Australia; Mr. Smart Bateman, managing director, Innov-Africa; Mr. Oumar Baba Sy, managing director, TAMIPA, David Abott, business development manager, Xcalibur and Mr.Doug Horak,f Business Development Manager,Intertek,Australia.