- December 15, 2018
- Posted by: CSR-in-Action
- Category: Feature Articles
History was made in Nigeria on Thursday, 13 December, 2018, as Nigeria celebrated the ground breaking of its first gold refinery. The ground breaking remarkably kicked off with the laying of the foundation block by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development; Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari, for the refinery’s building at Ogun State. The gold refinery which is the first in Nigeria is being developed by indigenous minerals company, Kian Smith Trade & Co Ltd. and is projected to be completed and commence full-fledge refining operation in the second half of 2019.
The management of the company through its vice chairman; Nere Teriba assured Nigerians that the company would ensure that sustainability was the driver of the its supply chain and all facets of its operations from the company’s involvement with artisanal miners, to members of the community and to gold merchants. Additionally, she stated that prior to commencement, the refinery had embarked on numerous impact assessments across socio-economic and environmental paradigms whilst taking into cognisance the importance of its host communities and expressing appreciation for their co-operation.
The refinery, which would ensure that sustainability is at the core of its operations, will start with a production capacity of 3 tonnes per month of 99.99% gold and production of 1 tonne of 99.99% silver per month which was themed; “the four 9s”.
Nere Teriba further stated that cashless policy would be fully integrated into the refinery’s mode of transaction through support of the Government’s online payment portal and that it would support over 1,000 unregistered business participants in the Nigerian market (comprising of artisanal miners, sponsors, dealers, processors, aggregators and gold-workers) in registering their businesses with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in order to facilitate their ease of doing business, which is a strategic move towards also amplifying the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery & Growth Plan (ERGP). Also, considering that most miners are not licensed by the government, the registration of miners would make it easier for government to track production volumes, claim royalties, and protect the miners themselves, from unwholesome practices dangerous to their health, thus bringing quick wins in sustaining the Nigerian economy.
In addition, she stated that the refinery upon completion will provide more than five thousand jobs in two years, taking into cognisance of her host community and other surrounding communities involved in the value chain. In her words; “we saw the establishment of a gold refinery and the role of the Central Bank of Nigeria as a key stakeholder in the gold market and as a pivotal catalyst to creating a gold economy for West Africa with Nigeria as the centre. Nigeria will become the Dubai of the region and we will be suppliers to the Central Bank, the jewellery and the electronic industry.”
She further disclosed that most of the ores for production will be sourced locally and the refinery has already secured a significant monthly supply of gold from Zamfara, Kebbi, Kwara, Niger, Kaduna, Oyo and Osun, and awaiting further supplies from Kogi amongst others. The company also plans to source about 100kg per month from other parts of Africa.
In attendance were prominent individuals in the Extractive Industries such as; Abubakar Bawa Bwari; Hon Minister of State; Ministry for Mines and Steel Development and his entourage, Adepeju Adebajo; Hon Commissioner for Agriculture (Representing the Ogun State Executive Governor), Bekeme Masade-Olowola; Chief Executive CSR-in-Action (Convener of the Sustainability In The Extractive Industry -SITEI), Yusuf Sani; Special adviser to the Nigerian President on Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), representatives from Nigeria’s financial institutions, Zenith & Stanbic IBTC, artisanal miners from Zamfara, Kogi, Kwara, Osun, Kaduna amongst others.
While on site, the executive Governor of Ogun State asserted that; ‘in addition to ensuring that the gold refinery enjoyed a peaceful operating environment, all support within reach would be provided to the refinery towards ensuring smooth business operations.’ Corroborating this, Nigeria’s mining minister who led and concluded the groundbreaking ceremony further added that, Kian Smith and Nere Teriba’s names would be written in gold in the history of contributing to the sustainability of the extractive industries in Nigeria.