FG set to attract international players in mining

The minister of solid minerals development, Dele Alake, has affirmed Nigeria’s readiness to welcome international big players into the mining sector, citing reforms and ongoing efforts to sanitise the sector.

He was speaking while playing host to the Group CEO of a Swiss-based company, Mr Gary Nagle. Alake asserted that Nigeria has critical minerals that are commercially and globally viable, stressing that providing efficient governance structure and sanitising the operating environment of the mining sector remains a priority of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

“We want you to come here and invest because we have a preponderance of critical minerals like lithium, gold, zinc, and nickel amongst others that are in high demand globally. We are securing the mining environment through a new security outfit, mining marshals, and providing wide-ranging incentives for investments as well as establishing an efficient governance structure for the mining sector, “Alake emphasised.

While urging the company, Glencore, to take advantage of Nigeria’s favourable investment climate and vast mineral resources in the country, the minister stressed that the federal governenment is committed to attracting international big players, that will fast-track development of the mining sector, like the oil industry.

“We are offering tax waivers on imported equipment, policy of full repatriation of profits to home countries and removal of bottlenecks to ease of doing business. The ministry is also ready to address any concerns that Glencore might have to facilitate smooth operations in Nigeria.”

In his remarks, Mr Nagle applauded reforms in the mining sector and the economy, urging the government to put in place mechanisms to address policy flip-flops and ensure stability in the nation’s business climate.

“We are ready to invest provided the government ensures stability in business climate and creates an enabling environment. We are excited by what you are doing so far, so apart from oil and gas, we are looking at opportunities to invest in the mining sector with emphasis on nickel, cobalt, zinc amongst others,” Glencore CEO asserted.

Also, the minister chaired the groundbreaking ceremony of the ASBA-Wisdom Lithium processing plant in Abuja, noting that the project is in consonance with the value addition policy of the federal government.

On completion, the factory will produce 1.6m tonnes of processed lithium annually and is estimated to employ at least 1,200 Nigerians.