Dangote Group of Companies will commence mining of gold, iron ore, coal and lead/zinc this year, the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) said on Monday.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, the Director-General of the Office, Mohammed Amate, also disclosed that six foreign mining companies will commence work next year.
The companies, according to Amate, are Australian mining firm, Kogi Mines Ltd, Segilola Nig. Ltd, Mines Geotechniques Nig. Ltd. and Northern Numero Resources Ltd. Others are West African Polaris Investment Ltd. and Tongyi Allied and Mineral Services Ltd.
The MCO DG said Kogi Mines, based in Kogi State, had already concluded a four-year exploration programme and had delineated more than 500 million tonnes of iron ore. It would therefore commence mining of iron ore in Agbaja in 2015.
Segilola Nig. Ltd would also begin mining of gold in Iperindo area of the IIesha Schist belt of Osun State, as more than one million ounces of gold had already been delineated in the area after the company’s exploration programme, according to Amate,
Mines Geotechniques Nig. Ltd and Northern Numero Resources Ltd, also Australian companies, will both begin mining of gold in Kebbi.
Amate noted that the Federal Government had last year signed an agreement with the companies, to commence mining their discoveries.
Once Dangote concludes its coal exploration in 2015, it is expected to immediately commence mining of the resource in Kogi and Benue. The company holds mining titles covering limestone, coal and gypsum.
Chinese miner, West African Polaris Investment Ltd, would commence mining of tin and columbite in Nasarawa State, while Tongyi Allied and Mineral Services Ltd, another Chinese company, would begin mining of lead/zinc in Wasa, Plateau State.
With the Chinese companies having successfully delineated their reserves, Amate said the two companies would commence major mining operation in various locations in the two states.
He revealed that 169 Small Scale Mining Companies had already begun mining gemstone, gold, lead/zinc, columbite/Tantalite among others across the country.
The MCO DG advised the miners to ensure their work is done in accordance with the law, pay their fees promptly to the government, and also reclaim mining sites after their activities.
He also warned them not to discharge any harmful materials into the environment. “If you are discharging anything you make sure that you discharge safely. You make sure you check the acidic, PH value. Do not discharge anything harmful,” he stressed.