The construction of Nigeria’s only large-scale commercial gold mine has begun in Osun State and the facility will start producing gold in 2021.
According to the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, the facility demonstrates the Federal Government’s desire to make the mining sector the mainstay of the country’s economy.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, said these at a ceremony for the commencement of Thor Exploration’s construction of the Segilola Gold Mine in Odo-Ijesha and Iperindo in Osun State.
He said the venture was a pioneering project in the Nigerian mining sector and commended the promoters of the facility, Canadian listed gold developer, Thor Explorations, and its wholly owned local subsidiary, Segilola Resources Operating Limited.
He said the Federal Government was committed to supporting companies in the sector.
The Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola, who was represented by the Secretary to the state government, Oluwole Oyebamiji, said, “Osun State Government is an ally in this project and we promise to give it every support to see it to fruition.”
The Managing Director, Thor Explorations, Segun Lawson, said when the gold mine would be completed in 2021, the company would process 650,000 tonnes of ore, with a target production of approximately 80,000 ounces per year.
He said the project was the first of its kind in Nigeria which would deliver the country’s only large scale commercial gold mine.
Lawson said the gold mine would provide over 1,000 direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians, provide an additional stream of non-oil revenue and stimulate the inflow of foreign direct investment into the country’s mining sector.
The mines and steel development ministry stated that the EPC Contract for the project was awarded to Norninco International Ltd to build the project on a turnkey basis.
It said the project was majorly financed by Africa Finance Corporation, which had invested the sum of $78m and took 10 per cent equity in Thor Explorations.
According to the ministry, the Segilola Gold Project is projected to start gold production in early 2021 and become Nigeria’s first large-scale commercial gold mine.