24 October 2011, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Two South African companies and a United Kingdom-based firm are to jointly invest $1billion (N150 billion) in Nigeria’s mining sector. The companies are Savannah Mining Limited of United Kingdom and Equator Minis and VML Resources Limited of South Africa.
The firms plan to invest the amount, in partnership with Nigeria’s Equator Mines Limited, for the production of tin in Bauchi, Plateau and Kaduna states, as well as the exploitation of about 100,000 ounces of gold in Kebbi State.
Disclosing this on Sunday in Abuja, the Managing Director, Equator Mines Limited, Mr. Gallio Dagu, said the company would produce 50,000 tonnes of tin in the short-term, and scale it up to 100,000 tonnes later.
“On gold, we intend to produce 50,000 ounces every month in the short-term. Then, in the long-term, when we increase the reserve, we intend to produce about 100,000 ounces of smelted gold every month,” he said.
Degu explained that in the long run, the company would smelt its concentrate to attain full value of $25 per metric tonne right from Nigeria, saying the firm had plans to process the concentrate to 72 per cent before export, in accordance with international standards.
“In the long-term, we have plans for smelting our concentrate so that instead of exporting the concentrate that will cost just about $18,000, we will smelt and get the full value of the London Metal Exchange right here in Nigeria, which is now about $24 to $25 per metric tonne. We have done the analysis and that is the best bet,” he said.
On the employment generation potential of the projects, he explained that the business plan had already made provision for the engagement of labour in accordance with the Minerals and Mining Act of 2007.
Dego said because the projects were spread across different locations in the country, the production plan would result in the employment of 4,000 Nigerians.