The Federal Government and Messrs La Mancha Incorporated, a leading Luxembourg Incorporated Private Gold Development and Mining Company in Cairo, Egypt, have signed an Expression of Interest to invest in gold mining in Nigeria.
Speaking at the signing ceremony supported by Egyptian African Arab Company for Development (EGAAD) in Cairo, the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu S. Ogah, said with the signing of the pact, the effort would attract big investors into the sector to started yield the desired result.
Ogah also added that with the diversification of the economy through minerals, the firm, which has portfolio companies like Endeavour Mining, Golden Star Resources, and Altus Strategies among others, also has a market capital in excess of about $10 billion and over 1.2Moz of gold production.
He explained that Nigeria stands to benefit immensely from the partnership, saying it would further cement African brotherhood in a way that would ensure development within the continent of Africa, using its abundant gold resources.
“Our ultimate goal is to attract investors with the technical and financial competence to invest in our solid minerals sector, from detailed exploration to mining, development, processing and refining to producing standard ores in Nigeria,” he said.
The minister therefore noted that Nigeria, as the largest economy in Africa and with its vast and mostly untapped solid mineral resources, has the potential for industrialization, assuring that his ministry would provide La Mancha with available geoscience data and necessary support for the investment.
Earlier, Chairman, La Mancha, Naguib Sawiris, said the signing of the document was its way of formally expressing the company’s interest to begin earnest operations in Nigeria, and to continually look at new opportunities to expand its investment in gold mining across Africa.
Sawiris, equally said that apart from being the largest market in Africa, the political stability in Nigeria was a factor that drew the interest of the company to Nigeria, stressing that the company’s intention is to commence operation by the first quarter of 2021.
Also, the Nigerian Ambassador to Egypt, Prof. Dandatti Abdulkadir, expressed delight over the deal between the Federal Government and La Mancha, promising they are willing to provide all necessary bilateral support for the company to actualize its investment interest in Nigeria.
Ogah, during a meeting with the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, had emphasised the need for cooperation to realise the African potential for industrialisation, saying the Egyptian mineral sector has a lot of similarities in policy reforms with that of Nigeria.
In his remarks, the Egyptian Minister, Molla stressed the need for big international mining conferences, like the Mining Ndaba for marketing purposes to optimise resources, enjoining Africans to work together to use “African resources to develop Africa.”