Nigeria and China firms sign gold mining agreement

By Dominic Ellis
Operations due to start soon at 12 sites across Nigeria...

Japaul Gold and Ventures has signed an agreement with Xiang Hui International Mining Company Nigeria to drill, mine and process gold in the West African country.

Speaking at a signing ceremony in Lagos, Jegede Paul, group chairman of Japaul Gold and Ventures, explains that the deal involves the Chinese company officials working on its sites in the states of Benue, Taraba, Osun and Niger.

He adds that his company has been drilling and exploiting gold and other mineral resources with the supervision of a Canadian company. Having met all regulatory requirements set by the government of Nigeria, operations are due to start soon at 12 sites across the country, adding that drilling could take more than year, with mining starting thereafter.

“Each drilling costs £2.27 million or £9.10 million investments in all,” Paul states, adding that he was optimistic with the sustainability of the projects, having been assured by consultants on the project.

Paul asserts that the issue of local content is being addressed, noting that the company has employed Nigerian geologists and mining engineers. “If we need 100 skilled workers, 20 per cent would be Nigerians. That is what the law says,’’ he says.

Hajia Hauwa Ibrahim, director, H&H Mines Limited, describes the deal as the biggest in the industry. At full capacity, the firm would engage no fewer than 1,500 workers on each site and estimates that there would be around 200 Chinese experts overall, she says.

She adds that the company decided to partner with the Chinese because they were the highest producers of gold in the world.

Investors are indicating increased interest in Nigeria’s gold value chain, says the Secretary of the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Initiative (PAGMI), Hajiya Fatima Shinkafi.

She projects that one of the key programmes implemented by the PAGMI – the integration of artisanal gold mining - would grow Nigeria’s tax income by an average of £113.7 million on an annual basis, attract royalties of £18.9 million, and boost the country’s foreign reserves by £379 million annually.

Shinkafi adds that PAGMI is set to galvanise the gold industry by transforming it into a major player in the global market, because the initiative serves as a catalyst in the industry to rapidly develop the nation’s gold reserves and gives artisanal gold miners a sense of belonging with an improved way of mining.


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