Mining targets 80, 000 ounces of gold per annum
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Federal Government has thrown weight behind mining companies with mouth-watering incentives in order to diversify the economy, encourage massive investments and create jobs.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite, on Thursday, while on a tour of the Segilola Gold Project in Iperindo of Osun State in a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Ayodeji Adeyemi.
According to the statement, Adegbite explained the reason behind his visit, which is to have a spot assessment of the level of progress made in the project and pledged the government’s support to the company.
He said: “We want to make Nigeria a major gold producing hub in Africa and this is why the administration of president Buhari has given so much support to this sector to ensure that we diversify our economy away from oil.
“Indeed the Ministry of Mines and steel development has provided a number of incentives to businesses and investors to spur growth in the sector. Some of the incentives include waiver on Customs and import duties for plant, machinery, and equipment imported for mining operations.
“Tax holidays of between three to five years for businesses as applicable. Free transferability of funds and permission to retain and use earned foreign exchange. Capital allowances of up to 95 per cent of qualifying capital expenditure. Deductibility of Environmental Costs (money meant for environmental remediation will be tax-free) and100 per cent ownership of mineral properties.”
The statement also made it known that the Minister who earlier paid a courtesy visit to the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir Ahmad El-rufai, reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to grow the mining sector and support mining companies in the sector.
He (Adegbite) maintained that his Ministry is ready to collaborate with Kaduna State to harness the abundant mineral resources according to constitutional provisions in that regard, which the Ministry will assist with establishing a Mining Engineering Department in the new Kaduna State University.
“The Ministry is always ready to promote mining in every state of the federation”, he said.
Meanwhile, earlier, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Segilola Gold Project, Segun Lawson, appreciated the visit, belief, and confidence of the Minister on the project.
However, Lawson further stated that in spite of the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s target production start date is slated for the second quarter of 2021.
He also disclosed that the company was aiming to produce an average of 80,000 ounces of gold per year for the lifetime of the mine.
According to him, his company had created 500 direct jobs and 1, 100 indirect jobs.
He said, “Despite the challenges of constructing during the pandemic we have ensured that all our facilities are built to world-class standards.”
He also made it known that in keeping with its Corporate Social Responsibility in the host community, his company awarded 26 secondary school and tertiary institution scholarship running into several millions of Naira.