08 September 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigeria Government has declared support for the success of nickel mining project and other investors in the mining sector as a way of actualising its economic diversification plan.
This was disclosed in a statement from the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Olayinka Oyebode, and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday.
Oyebode quoted Fayemi as having made the statement in his presentation at the opening session of the Africa Down Under (ADU) Conference in Perth, Australia.
He said the minister spoke to a gathering of African Ministers of Mines and Minerals, policy makers, investors, operators and mining financiers where Nigeria’s nickel discovery formed major highlights.
The minister’s aide said it was a gathering where the massive deposit of world class Nickel in Dagoma, Kaduna State and its prospect as a game changer for the Nigerian economy dominated the discussion.
Fayemi, who presented a paper entitled: “Mining for Shared Prosperity: Why Nigeria, Why Now”, said the government would support the nickel project and other investors to move from resource-find to exploration and processing.
The minister outlined government’s support for the nickel project as well as other genuine investments in the mining sector and noted that government would not compromise its laws and regulations.
He, however, urged investors in the sector to engage and build mutual and beneficial relationships with the host communities through the state government.
Fayemi also urged investors to work with the state government in their community relations engagement in order to build a harmonious working relationship with the host communities.
“You need the cooperation of the host communities as well as the state government. Even when our constitution allows the Federal Government to issue you a licence, you need the understanding and cooperation of the state government and the host communities whose environment you are going to work.
“The host communities should have a stake in your investment. Once that is done, they would see themselves as part- owners and would ensure non-sabotage of your efforts. This is what we have learnt through experience,” he said.
A private mining syndicate had last year made a what was described as a “potentially world class and highly unusual” Nickel discovery in Nigeria.
The private mining syndicate is reportedly headed by Hugh Morgan, a mining industry veteran.
“The discovery is unusual because the nickel is found in small balls up to 3mm in diameter of a high purity in shallow soils in what could be the surface expression of a much bigger hard-rock nickel field,” The Australian, an Australian national newspaper is reported.
It added that, “The nickel balls, rumoured to grade better than 90 per cent nickel and thought to be a world first given their widespread distribution, offer the potential for early cashflow from a simple and low-cost screening operation to fund a full assessment of the find that has exploration circles buzzing.”
Details of the discovery are sketchy, according to the newspaper, but it was rumoured to be close to Dangoma, a small farming town about 160km northeast of the Nigerian capital of Abuja.