11 June 2014, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – African economic superpowers, Nigeria and South Africa are exploring collaborative ventures to develop artisanal and small-scale gold mining in Nigeria.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Musa Mohammed Sada, who stated this recently in Abuja, explained that Nigeria was committed to improving the capacity of artisanal and small-scale miners towards increasing their productivity.
He added that more partnerships with other mining countries would be explored to effectively exploit gold and other mineral resources that abound in the country.
South Africa is the largest gold miner on the continent and the sixth largest miner of the mineral globally; Nigeria, on the hand, is reported to have gold deposits in relatively commercial quantity, but is not buoyant in mining gold and majority of gold mining that takes place in the country are carried out by artisans.
The partnership between the countries will see Nigeria acquire mining equipment and expertise from South Africa owing to the many artisans operating in the country’s developing mining sector, Sada said.
According to him, “Our focus is on gold because we have a lot of artisanal and small-scale miners.
“We realised that we are wasting a lot of resources and not getting as much as we should from mining. So, we need to improve on our mining technology and commodity pricing,” he explained further.
Most of the Nigeria’s gold deposits are found in the northern states. Nigeria recently surpassed South Africa as the continent’s biggest economy after a recent economy rebasing.
Gold mining presently constitutes less than one percent to the country’s GDP, and government has stressed it’s commitment to develop the sector to enable it contribute more to the economy in the face of declining revenue from crude production.