NIGERIA – The Federal Government of Nigeria has commissioned the operations of the country’s first gold and refining conglomerate to modernize the gold mining industry and boost local production.
The conglomerate, Dukia Gold and Precious Metals Project (DGPMP), was formed as a result of a collaboration between the Federal Government and the Heritage Bank.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony that was conducted online via Zoom, Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo explained that the project would also give rise to a nationwide Dukia-Heritage Bank Gold and Precious Metals Buying Centres.
This he said was help encourage a culture of recycling mineral waste while at the same time creating employment opportunities for many Nigerians.
“This project will create primary employment for local artisanal miners and mining cooperatives, and across the solid minerals value chain,” said Osinbanjo.
“Off-take agreements between Dukia Gold and local mining communities and owners of recyclable gold will be a useful provider of jobs in our post-covid economy.”
Guardian Nigeria reports that the DGPMP would be tasked with the responsibility of modernizing gold mining in the country.
The mining conglomerate will also be involved in the refining gold and in ensuring trade in the precious metal is conducted responsibility.
Nigeria is believed to have potential reserves of 200 million ounces of gold with an estimated market value of US$347 billion.
The sector has however for a long time been neglected in favor of the more lucrative oil sector.
On his part, MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo, said the partnership would create a platform that will contribute immensely to the transformation of Nigeria’s economy.
The renewed focus will thus help create new opportunities locally, especially at a time when oil prices continue to fall, putting a strain on government revenue.
With this new project, Nigeria will join other countries with massive mining projects like South Africa, Ghana, and Burundi.
South Africa for example, has started demonstrated started investment in the Waterberg Pallidum Mine which has an estimated net present value of US$982m after tax.
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