We Are Committed To Gold Mining, Prevention Of Smuggling – FG – Concise News

Mining. Image: Daily Trust

The Federal Government has expressed its commitment to the mining of gold and the prevention of smuggling of the commodity.

This assertion was made by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Abdulkadir Muazu.

Muazu spoke on the sidelines of the Gold West Africa Conference on Tuesday in Lagos where he said the mining sector is one of the ways Nigeria can diversify its economy.

“The government is trying to create that enabling conditions for the private sector to come and invest in the mining sector,” he noted.

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“It is a high-risk sector; it has long maturation and it is dominated by informal miners.

“That is why we are partnering and supporting initiatives like that of Kian Smith to unlock the potential of the value chain, to develop gold value chain to an extent where from exploitation, we will go into value addition, so that every actor in that value chain will derive maximum benefit that is potentially available in the gold mining sector.”

He added that “We have the endowment but the exploitation method is crude and rudimentary, and because gold is gold, these people who exploit gold are being exploited also by sponsors who advance money to them.

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“That is what this collaboration with the private sector is meant to address so that we convert these people into some viable enterprises. It is difficult because of the issue of governance in the sector.

“That is why President Buhari approved what we call ‘Presidential Initiative on Artisanal Gold Mining,’ so that we focus on empowering artisanal miners and creating a mechanism where the gold can be off-taken, processed, refined, and in that process, the government will be able to control the gold price.

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“The central bank ultimately aims to off-take the gold, so that you don’t have people smuggling our gold out without paying royalties; so that you don’t have people with criminal intent use gold to launder our money; so that you don’t allow potential terrorists to have access to gold, which they can now use to get weapons.

“So, it is of economic significance to us; it is of security significance to us, and it has a lot of social implications.”

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