Kebbi state has become the new miners’ haven with the discovery of top quality gold which has attracted the attention of a top Australian Mining Agency, the Northern Numero Resources (NNR) Limited. Ruth Tene Natsa looks at the impact of the investment to the state, miners and the nation at large.
The discovery of gold in Kebbi state and the purchase of mining lease ML21 by the Northern Numero Resources (NNR) Limited in Yauri, Kebbi state, has given much hope to the community – of jobs, power, good road – even an improved revenue is anticipated both for the state and federal government.
The mining sector which is said to have the highest opportunity for job creation and poverty alleviation, second only to agriculture, without doubt remains one of the most neglected sectors due to several factors which include but are not limited to poor funding, poor investments as well as a near absence of technology.
With records of over 44 existing minerals, it is said that every state in Nigeria can boast of one or more mineral resources. As such, the country should be an investors haven. But this is not so as the cost of mining and investing in mining requires long term funding, making it unattractive for most investors who prefer to put their money where it can yield quick returns.
It is no wonder then that when the NNR Limited showed interests in the development of the mineral resource in Kebbi, they were readily and happily welcomed as the stakeholders anticipated the many profits and gains the country stood to make from their activities.
Introducing the company to Nigerians recently, the director-general of the Mining Cadastre, Mr Mohammed Amate, said the NNR Ltd is involved in the exploration of metallic/metal-base minerals commodities and have been working on some of their mineral holdings in Kwara, Oyo, Kogi and Kebbi states.
Speaking at the official signing of agreement for the re-assignment of the Mining Leases No. ML021 (formerly belonging to the Nigerian Mining Corporation) and the issuance of licence to enable them fully mobilise and commence mining operations, Amate was confident that the coming of the NNR Ltd will be a positive boost to the nation’s mining sector.
The minister of mines and steel development, Mr Mohammed Sada, at the signing assured that “the company had committed to give 10 per cent carried interest to the federal government and five per cent to the community. This is in addition to the royalties and taxes the company is expected to pay in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act of 2007 and its Regulations 2011.
“In addition to that, the company is expected to sign a community development agreement (CDA) with the host community as a way of transferring social and economic benefits to it. It has also committed itself to extracting gold using environmentally friendly mining techniques,” he said.
The chairman, Board of NNR Ltd, Mr Stephen Davis, revealed that the federal government and Kebbi state government has entered into an agreement with a new company, Harvest Mining Limited, to develop the Kebbi gold project.
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