Govt signs agreement with Australian firm for gold exploration in Kebbi

Gold mine.Oscarline Onwuemenyi 11 March 2014, Sweetcrude, Abuja –  The Federal Government on Tuesday signed an agreement with Messrs Northern Numero Resources Limited, NNR, an Australian company, for the development of mining lease, ML21, located in Yauri, Kebbi State.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Musa Mohammed Sada signed the agreement on behalf of the Federal Government.
The Minister said that the agreement was to foster Nigeria’s efforts in advancing its mining policy and regulatory environment.
At the signing ceremony, the Minister said the company had expressed commitment to invest $5 million in gold mining in Kebbi state.
 He said the amount would be used in procuring small scale gold mining and processing plant which would be expanded later.
Arc. Sada explained that the ML21 is one of the mineral titles of the Nigerian Mining Corporation, which had carried out some exploration activities over the area including core drilling among others before it was closed in year 2005.
Sada noted that, “the company has also committed to give ten percent carried  interests to the Federal Government and five percent carried interests to the local community, in addition to royalties, taxes, amongst others that the company is expected to pay in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 and its Regulations, 2011 as well as the Community Development Agreement that the company  is expected to sign with the host community as a way of transforming social and economic benefits to the host community.”
The Minister urged other investors in the nation’s minerals and metals sector to emulate the initiative of NNR by giving host communities a sense of belonging in their operations.
He noted that the commitment of the company would transform the economic activity of its host communities in Yauri as well as formally put the country into global map of gold producers in the nearest future.
In his remarks, the Director- General, Mining Cadastre Office, Engineer Mohammed Amate said the Northern Numero Resources Limited was involved in the exploration, development and mining of metallic/metal base minerals commodities and had been working on some of their mineral holdings in Kwara, Oyo, Kogi and Kebbi states of Nigeria.
He noted that the proposal submitted by the company was carefully studied by professionals in the Mining Cadastre Office and had met the requirements for the reassignment of the Mining Lease N0 ML 21 as provided for in the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007 and Mining Regulations of 2011.
Also in his remarks, the Chairman of the Board of Northern Numero Resources Limited, Dr. Stephen Davis noted that the Goodluck Jonathan administration’s initiative to push the solid minerals sector forward has given new impetus to exploration companies and brought Nigeria to the attention of the global mining sector.
Dr. Davis added that, “the development of mining projects in Nigeria’s mineral rich north provides a new opportunity to add to the North’s economic base and its infrastructure”.
He said that mining projects in countries such as Australia have been instrumental in building major infrastructure including railways, ports and towns, adding that the Kebbi state project is moving forward with bulk sampling commencing this month in preparation for full scale mining operations next dry season made possible by the local support of the government of Kebbi state.
The Deputy Governor of Kebbi state, Alhaji  Ibrahim Aliyu who represented the governor assured the company of the support of government, he disclosed that the state has other mineral deposits aside Gold resource.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Mr. Dauda Kigbu, in his remarks at the event, emphasized the present administration’s commitment to sustainable development of Nigeria’s solid minerals sector.
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