Zamfara State said it has acquired equipment for gold mining that will turn the state into a hub of gold business in Nigeria within the next three months.
Already, a state of the art gold refinery equipment has been mounted in Baka Lori Dam, with more refining facilities coming before the end of 2020, on the backdrop of the launched Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI).
Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state, speaking after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Tuesday, said his administration is set to make Zamfara a model in solid minerals development
He disclosed that the state is partnering with serious investors from South Africa and Russia to kickstart the mining program
“ The President even advised me that I should liaise with South African and Russian mining companies so that we can partner with the state and federal government to achieve much more.
“I assure you within limited time, once the ban is lifted I will travel to South Africa to see some companies and make some assessments and they will follow me to come and see what Zamfara has.
“ I assure the people of the state that within 2 to 3 months , we will go into full scale mining”
A recent federal government report had shown that Nigeria lost over $3b to illegal gold mining, mostly from the state between 2012 and 2018.
Nigeria currently boasts of huge gold and other such minerals deposits in Zamfara, Kebbi, Kaduna, Niger and Osun States, with over 500,000 illegal miners operating without license
Matawalle revealed that the state recently exposed a large deposit of gold currently being mined illegally
“ In a few days , people of Zamfara will see a lot of changes especially in mining sector .
“we want to strengthen local miners, identify them and organize them cooperative groups so that they can be benefiting from mining.
“Zamfara state is going to benefit from this PAGMI programme very soon. when I go back we will set up a committee on PAGMI so that they can go round and the government and CBN will be buying from us directly , it is better they are selling it very cheap in the mining areas , the federal government,CBN and state can come in and be buying from this small scale miners
The Governor who lamented that insecurity was limiting efforts to expand businesses in the state, however, called for support for security agencies
“Let us support the security and we as the governors we have a big role to play , we just have to support the security agencies no matter what . If the governors are not serious they can’t be able to achieve what they want ,I advised the President that all those are calling for the sack of the security chiefs , they should think of the best way to support them to perform better instead of sacking them , even if you sack them , you are bringing another one , so let us use the one that we have ,we will support them as a government, my state now is at peace and everybody is aware .
“We have more than 3000 policemen going round the mining sites in order to protect the mining site . We have the security ,It’s just for us as leaders to support them . I believe we will see a lot of changes in terms of security in this country .