Nigeria has a range of world class minerals resources, such as gold, limestone etc. In addition, it has a variety of other occurrences (more than 45) of medium significance albeit important for small scale mining and industrial development. The world class minerals in Nigeria warrants a closer look especially by foreign mining companies.
The current global financial crisis has presented an immense opportunity for investing in the mining sector in Nigeria. Nigeria is now more than ever welcoming to investor. There are opportunities for investment to meet local demands for goods, services and energy. There is a new round of privatization which will see the government selling off bitumen and coal blocks on the basis of transparent competitive bidding.
Its banking sector reform has been acclaimed globally to be strong and has put the economy on a path of improved performance and steady growth. The foreign currency reserve is close to historical height and is substantially, relative to GDP, for a developing country. The government has continued to focus on the private sector as an engine of growth for the economy and to respond to the economic climate.
Nigeria has a large domestic market. It is the largest market in sub-Sahara Africa and the potential stretches into the growing West African sub-region. The government has created a favorable climate for business and industrial ventures. The exchange and control regulation have been liberalized to ensure a free flow of international finance. There is now no unrestricted movement of investment capital.
The new government of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has declared a Transformation Agenda which focuses on power sector reform, infrastructure development and diversification on the economy (including towards mineral resource development).
Administrative and bureaucratic procedures have been streamlined barriers and inhibition to doing business are been systematically removed. The entry visa regimes for serious investor have been liberalized. It is now possible to be granted a visa for up to ten years.
There continues to be reforms of government department, including the ministry responsible for the mining industry. Government has reviewed its mining policies and laws. As a result, the government roles have been better defined as one of administrator – regulator while allowing the private sector to be owner – operator.
In addition, the government has improved security of tenure of mining title through the establishment of a modern mining cadastre system for mineral title administration.
NEW ENABLING ENVIRONMENT
- New investment friendly legislation and policy
- Internationally competitive mining incentive (enshrine in the law)
- New state of the art recent geosciences data
- New mineral mining regulation
- Support mechanism for large investors (government backed or private institution)
- A robust economy
- Minimal public debt
- Developing new rail infrastructure
- Improved customer interaction
THE WORLD CLASS MINERALS
The world class mineral listed include
- Bitumen – 27 billion barrels of oil equivalent
- Limestone - 2.3 trillion tons with 568 million tons of proven reserve.
- Coal – 1487 million metric tonnes inferred.
- Iron ore – Over 3 billion tonnes resource
- Gold – several location in a 600 km belt of greenstone rock (one location has public quoted resource of 620,000 ounces)