Lots of interesting mining opportunities emerging these last few weeks — on one particular continent.
Uganda, for example, said last Wednesday that it will improve rules around landowner compensation for mining projects. Making it simpler for developers to obtain lands needed to move new mines ahead.
And Botswana also had some interesting news. With the government saying it will liquidate its largest state-owned miner BCL Mine — potentially bringing some copper and nickel assets up for sale here.
But the biggest news in African mining came from the other side of the continent. In the rising minerals destination of Nigeria — where lawmakers said they are close to unveiling a massive new investment fund to spur domestic mining development.
Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said in an interview over the weekend that the government is seeking to create a local minerals investment fund. Which will be backed by money from Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund.
The Minister further noted that the fund will be a very sizeable one — with an initial injection of $500 million currently being contemplated from the sovereign fund.
That on its own would be a lot of cash up for grabs in the mining sector here. And the Minister said it may not stop there — also noting that the mining investment scheme is getting “a lot of interest from private capital, equity funds venture capital.”
Additional backing from such groups could mean several hundreds of millions — or even billions — in funds available for Nigeria projects. Which is great news for developers, especially coming after the government here announced additional incentives such as a three-year tax holiday for new mines.
This week’s announcement is thus one more sign that Nigeria is serious about advancing its noted potential for gold, nickel and lead/zinc. Watch over the coming weeks for final announcements about the size of the fund, and details on how monies will be disbursed.
Here’s to putting up the cash
By Dave Forest
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