Oscarline Onwuemenyi 15 June 2014, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Nigeria is to acquire both expertise and equipment from South Africa in the area of gold mining under a new collaboration being explored by the two countries.
The move is aimed at developing gold mining in the country and improving the capacity of artisanal and small-scale miners towards achieving increased productivity.
The partnership with South Africa is part of the overall collaborative ventures being sought by the Nigerian government from mining countries to effectively exploit the mineral resources that abound in the country.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Musa Mohammed Sada, who stated this in Abuja, explained that Nigeria was committed to improving the capacity of artisanal and small-scale miners towards increasing their productivity.
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.
According to the minister, “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”.
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.