By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
A Gold investor, Messrs La Mancha Incorporated, has expressed interest in Nigeria’s Gold industry and signed an Expression of Interest Agreement with the Federal Government through the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
This was contained in a statement signed by Director, Press Department, Itore Thomas, where it disclosed that the firm is a leading Luxembourg Incorporated Private Gold Development and Mining Company in Cairo, Egypt.
According to the statement, the signing ceremony was coordinated by Egyptian African Arab Company for Development (EGAAD) in Cairo, Egypt, where the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, expressed optimism that with the signing of the Expression of Interest by La Mancha, the efforts to attract big investors into the Sector have will continue to yield the expected result, and that it would boost the government’s diversification of the economy through the minerals and metals sector.
Following the signing, the Minister said the collaboration between the Federal Government and La Mancha Holdings Incorporated, which has portfolio companies including Endeavour Mining, Golden Star Resources, and Altus Strategies, others, and with a market capital in excess of about $10 billion and over 1.2Moz of gold production.
He said Nigeria stands to benefit immensely from the partnership, noting that the collaboration would further cement African brotherhood in a way that ensures development within the continent using its abundant gold resources.
He said: “Our ultimate goal is to attract investors with the technical and financial competence to invest in our solid minerals sector, from detailed exploration to mining, development, processing and refining to producing standard ores in Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, the Minister assured La Mancha of the Federal Government’s readiness to provide enabling business environment for the timely realization of its investment interest and provision of available geoscience data and necessary support.
Earlier, Chairman, La Mancha, Naguib Sawiris, disclosed that the signing of the document was its way of formally expressing the Company’s interest to begin earnest operations in Nigeria.
According to Sawiris La Mancha has been looking at new opportunities to expand its investment in Gold mining across Africa, adding that Nigeria possessed enough gold deposits to bid for investment.
He also acknowledged that Nigeria apart from being the largest market in Africa, there has been political stability in the country since the inception of democratic governance for over a decade, and that also attracted his company to invest in Nigeria. He also disclosed that the operation will commence by the first quarter of 2021.
The Nigerian Ambassador to Egypt, Prof. Dandatti Abdulkadir, who also was present at the signing ceremony to witness the signing of the Expression of Interest between the Federal Government and La Mancha, promised that the Embassy is willing and ready to provide necessary bilateral support for La Mancha to actualize its investment interest in Nigeria.
Abdulkadir also commended the choice and wisdom of President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing the two Ministers to run the affairs of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, which has started yielding the desired result of attracting investments to the solid minerals sector.
In a related development, the Minister met with the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, where he stressed the need for synergy and cooperation to achieve Africa’s industrialization.
He also mentioned that the Egyptian mineral sector has a lot of similarities in policy reforms with that of Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla, called for big international mining conferences, like the Mining Ndaba for larger participation and marketing purposes to optimize resources, and enjoined Africans to work together and said “Use African resources to develop Africa.”