Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla has called on African leaders to work together for the development of the rich mineral resources of the continent, stating that there is need to create a global forum that is focused on Africa, such as the Mining Indaba, where the rich solid mineral resources of the continent will be showcased for marketing purposes.
Molla, who spoke recently, during an Expression of Interest Ceremony in Cairo, Egypt, tasked Africans to deploy their natural resources for the development of the continent, noting that they are obliged to optimize the natural resources of the continent.
A statement from the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, signed by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Mrs Etore Thomas, said the ceremony, which was coordinated by the Egyptian African Arab Company for Development (EGAAD) in Cairo, Egypt, brought together the Government of Nigeria and Messer La Mancha Incorporated, a leading Luxembourg Incorporated Gold Mining and Development Company in Egypt, which has signed an Expression of Interest Agreement with the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to invest in gold mining in Nigeria.
The Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah who led the Nigerian delegation agreed with Molla, while emphasizing the need for collaboration and cooperation to realize the African potential for industrialization, saying that the Egyptian Mineral Sector has a lot of similarities in Policy Reforms with that of Nigeria.
Dr Ogah described the signing of the Expression of Interest by La Mancha as one of the results of efforts being made by the government of Nigeria to attract credible investors to the Nigerian mining sector, adding that it will boost the effort of government to diversify the economy.
Dr Ogah expressed satisfaction with the collaboration between the Federal Government and La Mancha Holdings Incorporated, with portfolio companies such as Endeavour Mining, Golden Star Resources and Altus Strategies among others, and with a market capital in excess of about US$10bn and over 1.2Moz of gold production.
He said Nigeria stands to benefit immensely from the partnership, noting that the collaboration would further cement African brotherhood in a way that ensures development within the continent, using its abundance gold resources.
According to Dr Ogah, ‘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,’ adding that as the largest economy in Africa and with its vast and mostly untapped solid mineral resources, Nigeria has the potential for industrialization through the mineral sector.
He assured La Mancha of Federal Government’s readiness to provide conducive environment for the timely realization of its investment interest by providing available geosciences data and necessary support.
Earlier, Chairman, La Mancha, Naguib Sawiris, disclosed that the signing of the document was its way of formally expressing the Company’s interest to begin earnest operations in Nigeria.
He stated that as a company, La Mancha was continually looking at new opportunities to expand its investment in Gold Mining across Africa, adding that Nigeria possessed enough gold deposits to bid investment.
Speaking further, Sawiris said that apart from being the largest market in Africa, the political stability in Nigeria since the inception of the present democratic governance was a factor that drew the interest of the company to Nigeria, disclosing that the company’s intention is to commence operation by the first quarter of 2021.
The Nigerian Ambassador to Egypt, Prof. Dandatti Abdulkadir commended President Muhammadu Buhari for choosing the duo of the Minister and Minister of State to man the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development. He expressed delight to witness the signing of the Expression of Interest between the Federal Government and La Mancha and stated the Embassy’s willingness to provide all necessary bilateral support for La Mancha to actualize its investment interest in Nigeria.