FG woos foreign mining investors with low production cost

The Federal Government has assured foreign investors interested in the Nigerian mining sector of a conducive business environment and low production cost to boost profitability.

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, said this while addressing global stakeholders at the “Mines and Money Conference” which opened in the United Kingdom on Tuesday.

According to a statement by Kehinde Bamigbetan, the Special Adviser to the minister, Alake called for more investment in Nigeria, listing unique advantages such as lower production cost due to surface mining and billions of dollar untapped minerals.

He quoted recent reports by audit firm KPMG, which reported that the contribution of mining to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product rose from 0.3 per cent to 0.85 per cent in 2022, indicating 0.63 per cent year-on-year growth.

“The country’s geological bounty encompasses more than 44 distinct mineral types found in exploitable quantities across more than 500 locations. Recently, recognising the evolving global landscape, and in response to emerging trends, lithium has been included as a crucial strategic mineral of global consequence,” he said

Mr Alake said that the administration of President Bola Tinubu had embarked on reforms to boost investment by streamlining procedures and reducing hurdles to attract foreign investors.

He highlighted fresh data revealed by the Airborne Geophysical Survey, and Memorandum of Understanding with German firm Geoscan to gather more data on solid minerals across the country.

The minister also cited access to finance through a new funding facility inaugurated by the Africa Finance Corporation and the Solid Minerals Development Fund as incentive for investors.

He reminded the global mining community of the Federal Government’s policies on how mining operations must benefit the communities and lead to processing instead of wholesale export of raw minerals.

“Nigeria is currently emphasising Solid Minerals Beneficiation and Value-Addition as a panacea for quick and sustainable growth of the Mining Industry. By adding value to our raw materials, we not only create higher value products but also generate employment opportunities for our teeming youth and increase the sector’s overall profitability and contribution to the nation’s GDP,” he said.

He urged investors to support socio-economic development of the communities where they mine to make mining mutually beneficial.

He cited the recent inauguration of the revised guidelines for Community Development Agreement, which provides social amenities, educational support, health and safety environmental facilities.