By Peter Egwuatu
PRECIOUS Mines & Mineral Processing Company (PMMPC) Limited, a subsidiary of DVCF Oil & Gas Plc, has announced its readiness to deliver over 51% of the countryâ€™s local demand for marble and other precious stones.
This target draws from the vision of the company to be on the top spot among players in the solid minerals processing industry. Vice-Admiral Samuel Afolyan, (Rtd) CFR, Chairman of PMMPC, speaking at the 2008 annual general meeting, last week re-emphasized this, notingÂ â€œthe vision of the founding shareholders is to develop into a global leader in mining industry providing quality products using best global practice.â€
In actualizing the above, the company is concluding arrangements to commission its integrated ultra-modern marble processing plant located in Oke-page in Kwara State. The plant, which is 100 per cent completed will commence full operations this month.
The structure and design of the integrated operation of the company progresses from mining of marble blocks at the quarry to processing of the blocks into dimension stones, and the pulverizing/million of powder to stock-feed other manufacturing processes of a variety of products.Â Specifically, the milling of powder of varied colour and sizes forms the core raw material in the paint and chemical industries, pharmaceuticals, glass, ceramics, oil & gas industries.
DVCF Oil & Gas Plc, a leading venture capital company, holds 30 per cent equity stake in PMMPC while 127 others hold the remaining 70 per cent.
Anthony Eze, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, DVCF Oil & Gas Plc, remarked that PMMPC has progressed from being an entrepreneurial initiative to an entrenched going concern. Production of blocks has commenced and there are available stocks for sale presently. Work is being conducted in two shifts with adequate stocks of raw materials on site while specific field has been earmarked for blasting to provide all year round boulders for the operations.
The Chairman presented details of the level of development in the Company. According to him PMMPC has over 23square kilometers of calcite marble field with 123m, 3 million of deposits. The over burden removal and production within the first bench of quarry face one has progressed significantly.
He noted that the yield of over 20% from the first bench confirms the superior quality of the core deposits.Â He explained that the 2nd to the 6th benches are earmarked to be developed in the current campaign period just as work is in progress to open quarry phase two. A combination of these operations is estimated to yield 7500-12,000m3 per annum, he said.
For the processing operations, the Chairman said the quarry has produced sufficient blocks that will be processed into tiles in the next 12 months, adding that the factory will record buoyant activities in the last quarters of the year 2009. According to Afolayan, full pulverizing operations will commence early next year as the recently installed Pulverizing equipment is being test-run.
The investors, after reviewing the level of development of the plant expressed their satisfaction and urged the management to intensify efforts to ensure that full production commences as scheduled.PMMPC has the highest advantage of available market for all its products as it huge list of forward orders from various categories of consumers both locally and overseas. The World Bank report of June 2009 on dimension stone demand in Nigeria shows that total demand stands at 800,000m2.Â Out of this, Granite accounts for 500,000m2, and marble accounts for 300,000m2 per annum.