By Daniel GUMM
AN indigenous geological consultancy company, West Africa Geo-Mining System Ltd and its partners in Europe are planning to fund to the tune of about $20 million for various viable mining projects in Nigeria.
The company also plans investment drives in the solid minerals sector of the nation and calls on private individuals and companies that have acquired licences to explore and mine from the government to take advantage of its offer.
Paul Aina, Managing Director of West African Geo-Mining System Ltd., said the focus of Nigeria â€œis oil and gas sector which is contributing about 95 per cent of revenue,â€ but stressed that â€œthere is the need to take a self-sustaining and self-dependent stand and transform into the desired emerging economies which is of a global desired stature.â€ This, according to him could be achieved by developing the solid minerals sector of the economy.
He also said that was need for states to recognise their non-oil assets and know the locations of mineral deposits scientifically and their extents in terms of reserves estimation in a global accepted manner for mineral audit.
Aina said his company would be offering equity participation that would vary for good profitable sites.
According to him, â€œit can be between 70%:30%, investor:licence owner, as investor will provide all the funds,this means licence owner will just have to be responsible to keep social responsibility and not to invest cash.
â€œIt can also be 50%:50% if licence owner is equally able to invest cash in the project this means licence owner can back up his 50% equity with the required cash for investment.â€
He explained that â€œif we are partnering with states, it could be 60%:40% between states and partners, as the Zamfara State example with the Chinese investors.
â€œThe summary is that equity will be negotiated on a case by case basis depending on the situation.â€
Aina noted that theÂ investment â€œis already operational as some of the investors has already moved some minimal mining /processing equipment into Nigeria.â€
He said the target wouldÂ not be only to mine but to also set up process plants of international standardsÂ â€œthat will employ Nigerians thereby assistingÂ government to achieve part of its vision 2020 target of industrialisation.â€
â€œWe will be looking strongly at viable sites that have good electromagnetic /geophysical signaturesÂ which translations shows viable deposits,â€ he said.
â€œAlso being introduced by West Africa Geo-MiningÂ into Nigeria is one of the largest gold mining companies in China. The company is coming into the country to invest and teach Nigerian miners they way international operations work.â€