Nigeria and China firms sign gold mining agreement
Japaul Gold and Ventures has signed an agreement with Xiang Hui International Mining Company Nigeria to drill, mine and process gold in the West African country.
Speaking at a signing ceremony in Lagos, Jegede Paul, group chairman of Japaul Gold and Ventures, explains that the deal involves the Chinese company officials working on its sites in the states of Benue, Taraba, Osun and Niger.
He adds that his company has been drilling and exploiting gold and other mineral resources with the supervision of a Canadian company. Having met all regulatory requirements set by the government of Nigeria, operations are due to start soon at 12 sites across the country, adding that drilling could take more than year, with mining starting thereafter.
“Each drilling costs £2.27 million or £9.10 million investments in all,” Paul states, adding that he was optimistic with the sustainability of the projects, having been assured by consultants on the project.
Paul asserts that the issue of local content is being addressed, noting that the company has employed Nigerian geologists and mining engineers. “If we need 100 skilled workers, 20 per cent would be Nigerians. That is what the law says,’’ he says.
Hajia Hauwa Ibrahim, director, H&H Mines Limited, describes the deal as the biggest in the industry. At full capacity, the firm would engage no fewer than 1,500 workers on each site and estimates that there would be around 200 Chinese experts overall, she says.
She adds that the company decided to partner with the Chinese because they were the highest producers of gold in the world.
Investors are indicating increased interest in Nigeria’s gold value chain, says the Secretary of the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Initiative (PAGMI), Hajiya Fatima Shinkafi.
She projects that one of the key programmes implemented by the PAGMI – the integration of artisanal gold mining - would grow Nigeria’s tax income by an average of £113.7 million on an annual basis, attract royalties of £18.9 million, and boost the country’s foreign reserves by £379 million annually.
Shinkafi adds that PAGMI is set to galvanise the gold industry by transforming it into a major player in the global market, because the initiative serves as a catalyst in the industry to rapidly develop the nation’s gold reserves and gives artisanal gold miners a sense of belonging with an improved way of mining.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.