A British gold mining firm, Aurelia Mining Company Ltd, is to invest $100 million in gold production in Nigeria.
Speaking during a visit to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite, the company's director, Julian Hammond, said they see Nigeria becoming a powerhouse in gold production in Western Africa and aspiring to diversify the economy away from oil and gas and have come to key into the country's abundant mineral potentials.
"The company will commence a small mining operation with five to US$10m first," and if the gold deposit is as big as expected, the company will invest about US$100m for a period of 10 to 15 years, he said.
Responding, the Minister said the Canadian firm is already scheduled to start gold exploration in Ogun state soon. "In the next couple of weeks we will start gold production from Illesha; it was a little bit delayed because of the COVID-19.
The Minister also said that it is the kind of success story Nigeria was looking forward to from Aurelia at the end of the day. He said the aggressive investment driving campaign embarked upon by the ministry in the recent past have started yielding results.
"I was in South Africa, London, Toronto among others, and with all these we were able to convince investors, to say, look, Nigeria is a place to come to," he said.