By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has called on mining companies, especially large scale operators, to key into the Federal Government N30 billion intervention fund for mining exploration.
Fayemi made the call in Abuja on Friday when he received members of Allied African International Mining Company in his office, according to a statement by Mrs Rhoda Iliya, Assistant Director, Press, in the ministry.
He said that government was committed to assisting large scale operators through the intervention fund, which was recently approved for exploration in the industry by the Federal Executive Council.
“The government is interested in partnering genuine private mining operators to achieve the mandate of making Nigeria a mining destination.’’
According to the minister, mining is capital intensive and a long term project that requires a lot of patience to reap the benefit.
He commended the company for the progress made so far in exploration and urged the management to key into the government’s policies on mining for mutual benefit.
He urged the company to assist in skill development in the sector through exchange programme for Nigerian geologists to acquire practical experience as Nigeria believed in skill sharing and transfer.
Also, the Minister of State in the ministry, Alhaji Bawa Bwari, commended the company for the level of commitment shown in exploration.
Earlier, Senator Isa Mohammed, who led the delegation, had said that the visit was to intimate the minister on the achievement made so far in exploration.
He commended the effort of the two ministers for their commitment and dedication in projecting the image of the country and making it attractive to mining investors.
According to Mohammed, the company is ready to work with government and to contribute its quota towards making the country a mining destination.
A member of the delegation, Mr Riaan Van Vuuren, said that his company, where he worked as managing director, had a gold project located in Lapai, Niger and at Kakini Hills in Kaduna State.
“The company is at the exploration stage and the Lapai gold project has a 12-kilometre mineralisation and when fully explored, will contribute significantly to the GDP of the country.”
He also pledged the company’s interest in skill transfer and infrastructural development in the host communities.