The Nigerian Government introduced that the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would assist cut back unlawful mining within the nation and likewise standardize Mining practices in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, on the NAN discussion board in Abuja on Sunday.
The Minister disclosed that the mining sector was ignored by the Federal Government after oil was found, which made it potential for artisanal miners to enterprise into the sector.
“Right now, many Nigerians are into artisanal mining and this was caused by the fact that when oil was discovered, Nigeria moved away from mining, which was the mainstream of the economy.
“Before oil and gas, Nigeria relied on coal and tin; we were exporting and were indeed, quoted on the London Metal Exchange.
“And that is basically what was giving Nigeria money in those days before oil came but when oil came, we moved away. We left mining behind,” he mentioned.
He added that probably the most mined commodity in Nigeria by artisanal miners is gold, which has created a profitable black marketplace for worldwide patrons. He additionally mentioned that with the AfCFTA, documentation of mining exports could be required, decreasing unlawful outflows.
“Gold is the most traded mineral in Nigeria and these people mine gold and get nuggets. There are several thousands of such miners, when you aggregate what they mine, it comes in large volume and several kilos of gold,” he mentioned.
“To know the extent of the money they make in the gold business, they hire private jets to take them out illegally because they realise a lot of money.
“At the rate gold is selling, one ounce of gold is selling for $2,200 and by the time you carry a thousand kilogrammes, you are making several billions of naira.
“But with AfCFTA coming into effect, we hope that other countries will cooperate with Nigeria because now it is a free trade but there is documentation,” he added.
The Minister mentioned that with AfCFTA going into impact, the FG hopes it can assist stem the issue as a result of Nigeria is purported to commerce freely with Africa with documentation.
“We hope that other countries will cooperate with Nigeria. I will not allow such illegal activity to go on within those countries,” he mentioned.
In case you missed it: Nairametrics additionally reported that the Mining Minister mentioned a Nigerian-Canadian firm, mining gold in Nigeria’s Osun State appears to be like set to start the exportation of gold in June this yr.