By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
The Country Director, Minerals and Miners Centre (MMC) Dr. Comfort Asokoro-Ogaji, has challenged the private sector players in Nigeria to rise to action for the growth of the sector as local players but with global Mindset.
She said “The way forward for Artisanal and Small Scale Miners in Africa is to look inwards and draw strength from each other and make progress as home grown companies. We appreciate foreign investors and their interest in developing Africa but the mission of MMC is to assist local miners to improve towards more advanced approach and be able to compete in the global marketplace.”
Speaking in an interview at the Minerals and Miners Conference by MMC in London she said talks are on with notable companies interested in working with corporate members of MMC in diverse areas of business and technology development for the industry.
“Business talks have been initiated by MMC with GSL Mineral Processing and K-Mines for exploration and operational optimization for managing resources and maximizing yield. The solutions include open cut and underground mining system simulations, structural 3D modeling of mineral deposits and tools needed by mining companies for pits design, haul roads and mine structures.
“The MMC will continue to discuss with the global solution providers in the industry for its members and strategize for the growth of the sector via private sector led initiatives and solutions”.
“Our talks with GSL Mineral Processing Company is centred around exploration reporting standards acceptable worldwide for private investors partnerships with our miners locally. GSL working with MMC member companies can bring about a paradigm shift for Nigerian Mining Industry.
She stated that most Nigerian mining companies are still at the feasibility studies or exploration stages. GSL can assist with the mine value chain from scoping through PEA to PFS and DFS.
Dr Comfort further reiterated the need for partnerships as the way to go, saying
“Another team we are talking to is the SRK Team. Though SRK is not new to us because SRK had worked with Richflood one of MMC member company for Environmental due diligence, but this time around, we are discussing a more broad expertise on innovative solutions in a multidisciplinary approach. Including reserve estimations and the entire exploratory process, solutions for effective engagements with financial institutions and governments.”
The MMC event in London is an annual event focused on reporting KPIs by each member company or JVs. We do not want a conference of rhetorics but reporting results, lessons and the way forward.
The Director explained the need for miners to key into global solutions for process optimization and reduce the analogue approach to mining. This ensures the quality of exploration data, report integrity and general acceptability by investors.
“We must follow the trend to gain relevance in the global market otherwise our miners will remain local and not have any space where it matters most.”
“In Nigeria, we are already launching the internship and mentorship program by 14th December at the National Assembly Hall. Six Hundred and Firty Two (642) Nigerians have registered and I hinted the Minister about it yesterday. These are actions taken to bridge the huge knowledge gap and this conference in London has revealed the gap indeed. We need to rise up and get to work.”
She added that the MMC management team is giving back by assisting members to establish linkages that will bring about prosperity in the land.