The federal government has expressed its readiness to deepen its collaboration with the African Natural Resources and Minerals Ltd and a Moroccan mining company in their quest to develop iron ore and phosphate respectively in the country.
The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari stated this during separate courtesy visits paid him in his office in Abuja yesterday by a team of the financiers of the African Industries, Standard Bank and Stanbic IBTC, and a delegation from the Moroccan mining company paid.
While welcoming his first guests, the bank delegation led by the Global Sector Head: Mining and Metals Client Coverage, Mark Buncombe, the minister said their coming was highly welcome and apt because they are about to set a pace by funding the processing of iron ore and thus advancing steel production locally.
The minister who noted that before now investors like the African Industries were only using scraps for production of steel said,
"Today we have the African Natural Resources and minerals-your client who discover iron ore in Kadarko, Kaduna State and they want to develop it to feed the 7 steel plants they have in Nigeria.
"They also want to build a coal plant .
"It is a company were are so proud of and will work even more closely with it with all the needed following this your visit.
He urged the banks to work closely with the Solid Minerals Development Fund see to how best they can assist the sector and to extent the funding support to other willing investors.
The banks team were there on behalf of their beneficiary- African Natural Resources and Minerals Industry to ascertain the areas of collaboration and to canvass the ministry's support for their client.
Also, while welcoming the Moroccan Mining Company delegation led by the Managing Director, OCPAfrica, Mohammed Hettiti, who came seek collaboration in the area of phosphate development locally, the minister appreciated the long outstanding relationship between Morocco and Nigeria.
He noted that Morocco has been a good partner of Nigeria agriculturally through supply of phosphate (a major component of fertiliser).
"We know that your country is one of the best producer of phosphate, so we want to leverage on our relationship to collaborate with you in developing our own phosphate and because we have it," he said.