Leveling Up: Centre Pushes Global Standards for Artisanal Miners in Nigeria

Leveling Up: Centre Pushes Global Standards for Artisanal Miners in Nigeria.

The Minerals and Miners Centre (MMC), Nigeria, has called on artisanal and small scale miners in Nigeria and Africa to ditch their analogue activities and upgrade to modern operations in order to keep up with global trends of the business.

The country director, Minerals and Miners Centre (MMC), Nigeria, Dr. Comfort Asokoro-Ogaji, who made this call in a recent interview with journalists,  also urged artisanal and small-scale miners to work together to uplift one another.

Dr Asokoro-Ogaji, who led the Nigeria Team to an MMC event in London recently, challenged private sector players in Nigeria to rise to action for the growth of the sector as local players but with a global mindset.

She explained the need for miners to key into global solutions for process optimisation and reduce analogue approach to mining.

“This ensures quality of exploration data, report integrity and general acceptability by investors. We must follow the trend to gain relevance in the global market; otherwise our miners will remain local and not have any space where it matters most.

“The way forward for artisanal and small-scale miners in Africa is to look inwards and draw strength from each other and make progress as home-grown companies. We appreciate foreign investors and their interest in developing Africa but the mission of the Minerals and Miners Centre (MMC) is to assist local miners to improve towards a more advanced approach and be able to compete in the global marketplace,” she said.

According to her, the MMC will continue to discuss with the global solution providers in the industry for its members and strategise for the growth of the sector via private sector-led initiatives and solutions.

She further stated that the MMC management team is giving back to the industry by assisting members to establish linkages that will bring about prosperity in the land.

She went on: “At the Minerals and Miners Conference (MMC) in London, talks are ongoing with notable companies interested in working with corporate members of MMC in diverse areas of business and technology development for the industry.

“Business talks have been initiated by MMC with GSL Mineral Processing and K-Mines for exploration and operational optimisation for managing resources and maximising yield.

“The solutions include open cut and underground mining system simulations, structural 3D modelling of mineral deposits and tools needed by mining companies for pit design, haul roads and mine structures.

“Our talks with GSL Mineral Processing Company are centred on exploration reporting standards acceptable worldwide for private investors’ partnerships with our miners locally.”

Dr Asokoro-Ogaji expressed confidence that GSL Mineral Processing Company working with MMC member companies can bring about a paradigm shift for the Nigerian mining industry.

“Most Nigerian mining companies are still at the feasibility studies or exploration stages. GSL can assist with the mine value chain from scoping through preliminary economic assessment (PEA) to preliminary feasibility study (PFS) and definitive feasibility study (DFS),” she explained.

The MMC event in London is an annual event focused on reporting key performance indicators (KPIs) by each member company or joint venture company in the industry, she explained, adding that it is not a conference of rhetoric, but one for reporting results, lessons and the  way forward.

As a way forward for local miners in Nigeria, the MMC country director said the organisation had already launched the internship and mentorship programme in which 642 Nigerians had signed up, starting on 4th December at the National Assembly Hall.

“These are actions taken to bridge the huge knowledge gap and this conference in London has revealed the gap indeed. We need to rise up and get to work,” she added.

Asokoro-Ogaji further reiterated the need for partnerships as the way to go.

“Another team we are talking to is the SRK Team. Though SRK is not new to us because SRK had worked with Richflood, one of MMC member companies, for environmental due diligence, but this time around, we are discussing a more broad expertise on innovative solutions in a multidisciplinary approach, including reserve estimates, and the entire exploratory process solutions for effective engagements with financial institutions and governments.”



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