Home » Nigeria woos Australian miners with incentives and reforms

Nigeria woos Australian miners with incentives and reforms

by Victor Adetimilehin

Nigeria is seeking to attract more investment in its solid mineral sector, which has been largely untapped and unregulated for decades. The country’s Solid Minerals Development Minister, Dele Alake, recently attended the 21st Africa Down Under conference in Perth, Australia, where he presented the government’s new policies and plans to reform the sector and create a conducive operating environment for investors.


Alake said the government is establishing the Nigerian Solid Minerals Corporation as a special-purpose vehicle to engage in joint ventures with multinational companies. He also said the laws permit investors to repatriate their profits without restrictions. He added that the government is investing in geo-scientific investigation of the country’s mineral resources to provide reliable data for investors.


The minister highlighted the potential of Nigeria’s lithium deposits, which are close to the surface and easy to extract. He said some investors, such as Basin Limited and Lithium King, have already started exploring and developing lithium projects in the country. He also assured investors of safety and security, saying the government is cracking down on illegal mining and deploying surveillance task force and mine police to protect the mines.


The minister’s presentation attracted the interest of many Australian mining investors, who expressed their intention to visit Nigeria and explore opportunities in the solid mineral sector. They praised Nigeria’s mining roadmap as a promising and attractive one. They also said they were impressed by the progress made by some of their counterparts who are already operating in Nigeria.


Alake also said the government is shifting its attention from hydrocarbon to renewable energy, as Nigeria has abundant solid mineral resources that can serve as alternatives to its oil and gas. He said the Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration is determined to diversify the economy and boost the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by tapping into the huge potential of the solid mineral sector. He said his visit to Australia was to market Nigeria as a destination for mining in Africa and globally. He said he hopes to see more Australian miners investing in Nigeria and contributing to the development of the sector.


Nigeria has over 40 different types of solid minerals, such as gold, iron ore, coal, tin, copper, lead, zinc, limestone, gypsum, kaolin, and barite. However, the sector has been neglected for a long time due to the dominance of oil and gas in the economy. The government is now trying to revive and reform the sector by creating an enabling environment for investors and addressing the challenges of infrastructure, security, regulation, and transparency.


Source: The Nation


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