World Bank grants Nigeria extra $80m mining credit

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The World Bank has granted Nigeria additional $80m credit under the Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources Project in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.



The extra funds will be utilised in providing some sort of grants, loans and guarantees for small and medium scale miners who were not captured in the $10m micro credit facility provided in the $120m World Bank credit running in the SMMRP, which focused on artisanal miners.



The outgoing Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, who stated this while handing over to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Goni Sheikh, in Abuja on Friday, also announced that the life span of the project had also been extended.



Alison-Madueke also stated that the Nigeria‘s coal reserved had been developed into 11 strategic coal clusters, specifically for interested in coal-fired plants, adding that a framework had been established for the development of coal to power plants.



She also listed other achievements of the ministry under her watch to include initiating the ongoing open and competitive bidding process for the allocation of bitumen and tar-sand blocks and the execution of the re-validation of mineral titles in alignment with the Mines and Minerals Act of 2007 and the completion of the processing of 9300 mining title applications.



Alison-Madueke also stated that the ministry had presented bills for the National Metallurgical Training Centre, Onitsha and Nigerian Institute of Mining and Geo-Sciences, Jos to the Executive Council of the Federation for onward transmission to the National Assembly.



The ministry has also ”completed airborne magnetic survey of 95 per cent of the country‘s landmark with the results interpreted and launched in Nigeria, South Africa and Canada. We have also created an inventory of abandoned mines, with an appropriate action plan for reclamation and initiated gemstone certification process.”



In the steel sector, Alison-Madueke said the ministry under her watch had submitted a report reflecting various business options for the re-operationalising of Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited and the National Iron Ore Company Limited and had got approval for the re-operationalise both entities. The ministry had also arranged for the payment of 10 months salary arrears to staff of both entities and commenced negotiations with the Ministry of Finance for the payment of outstanding pension and terminal benefits for ASCL and NIOMCO, she said.



Other achievements in the steel sector, according to her included the commencement of the technical audits of ASCL and NIOMCO and commencement of the completion of he Super Concentrate plant at NIOMCO. She listed pending issues to include the completion of the airborne geo-physical survey for the remaining 5 per cent of the country, to cover Lagos and the Niger Delta areas, the Community Development Agreement Model and the arbitration case in London.


(Source:Punch)

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