Agbaja iron ore mining to last 100yrs – Minister

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Musa-Mohammed-SadaThe Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Musa Sada, has said that Agbaja iron ore deposit in Kogi can last for more than 100 years when mining operations begin in the area.

Sada made the fact known in Agbaja in Lokoja Local Government Area on Wednesday during a facility tour of Kogi Mines Limited, a private company, operating in the area.

He said that so far the company had delineated more than 500 million tonnes of iron ore in the area.

The minister said the Federal Government had introduced policies to encourage investments  in the solid minerals sector in the effort to achieve the National Industrial Revolution Plan.

He said the mining sector was expected to provide employment opportunities for many Nigerians.

Sada said it was important the country diversified its economy from oil to the solid minerals  sector.

The minister advised the company to comply with mining and environmental regulations by treating and relating well with the host community to avoid any conflict.

Mr Kevin Joseph, the Executive Director of the company, said that the firm would begin mining of iron ore in the area in the last quarter of 2016.

“It should be noted that anywhere in the world of mining, any project of this size, from start to production is a 10-year cycle.

“If the current support for the actualisation of the project is maintained from all quarters, we will succeed in doing so within six years,’’ Joseph said.

He said the company which started exploration in 2009, had carried out many social responsibility projects for the host community.

The executive director promised that the company would comply with environmental rules and community development agreements reached with the host community.

Mr Samuel Alabi, a senior geologist with the company, said the firm would provide employment for more than 700,000 Nigerians when it  began production in 2016.

Alabi said that about 90 per cent of the project was carried out by the Nigerian experts, while their foreign partners supervised the work.

However, Alhaji Muhammed Baiyerohi, the Olu of Oworo, appealed to the Federal Government to review the Environmental Impact Assessment Report in the interest of the local environment.

He urged the government to ensure that the company’s operations met  international best practice

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