… CBN to buy off unrefined gold products from local miners
The Federal Government has set out plans to establish a Gold Purchase Scheme to kick-start export of gold products from Nigeria to meet the economic needs of the nation in line with President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s diversification agenda.
The government also said, to this end, a policy is underway to criminalise export of solid mineral products in their raw state without beneficiation. The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite disclosed this in Lagos, while highlighting some of the immediate, short- and long-term goals of the government in the mining sector.
He stated that the drive became necessary in view of the need to promote and encourage formal exploration and refining of the vast mineral deposits in Nigeria. The minister explained that the federal government has entered into a partnership agreement with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to buy off unrefined gold products from local miners in order to cut loopholes that encourage illegal purchases.
Under the proposed policy, CBN would buy the product at prevailing international price to check the incidence of underpricing being experienced by miners, with some quantities kept in the reserve. Ahead of the policy takeoff, he said the Ministry has issued two licences for Gold mining in Ogun and Abuja, to mitigate illegal trading of the product.
He further noted: ‘We have started gathering data which we want to use to boost our market for foreign investors to come in, and by the end of the first quarter, we would have concluded final work on data gathering. We are already getting good results b e c a u s e a s I am t a l k i n g with you now, a Canadian firm, Segilola Gold Project is building its mines in Osun State with a view to commencing mining exploration in the state and by the end of 2021, it would start exporting refined gold from Nigeria to any part of the world to compete favourably with the international market.”
Speaking on the challenges some potential investors have raised in the area of geo-data information, which he noted is a determining factor for engaging in mining projects, he explained that the federal government is aware of the challenges and has responded by setting up strategies to de-risk the sector.