Nume Ekeghe and Sunday Ehigiator
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari, has the federal government is committed to the development of the mines sector in order to drive sustainable growth in the country.
He said this while delivering a speech at the ground-breaking ceremony of Kian Smith Gold Refinery, the first licenced indigenous gold mining company in Nigeria located in Ogun State.
Bwari said the sector would play a major part in increasing the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
He said: “As you are all aware, the present administration is determined to develop a mining sector as a catalyst to sustainable economic growth of the country.
“As part of our marching orders in the ministry, we are expected to develop this sector to increase its contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, improve its capacity to create jobs, and achieve sustainable mining. “In fulfilment of that mandate, we develop a roadmap, for the growth and development of the sector and identified several strategic minerals for priority attention with gold as the commodity that will get utmost priority.”
He further said: “In the focus of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of this administration, we discovered that a well organised gold value chain can trigger our economic revolution, like it did in India, South Africa, Switzerland, and others. “Consequently, there is a proposed Gold Purchase Scheme with the primary purpose of developing the gold value chain, through well-articulated supply chain strategies that will lead to the production of gold products, through value addition.
“The implication is that, gold supply will be sourced from registered participants and miners to allow the effective monitoring and regulation of gold production, and ensure that correct gold production data are available.
“This is in addition to facilitating value addition that will refine gold bars for the CBN, under the federal gold refine scheme as well as the local jewellery industry.
“It is based on the premises, that the ministry approved the first Gold refinery license to Kian Smith Nigeria. Limited earlier this year.”
Also speaking at the event, the Vice-President, Kian Smith Trade and Co. Mrs. Nere Teriba, said: “Kian Smith had been involved in gold exploration, mining, processing, ASGM training, safer mining & extraction solutions for several years before we decided to put all our experience together towards holistically studying the gold ecosystem of Nigeria.”
Kian Smith refinery aims to be producing refined gold.