DRILLING INTERVIEW: “Meridian is excited to be working in Bauchi with a progressive and driven company such as Symbol Mining, which is leading the field in utilising up to date drilling and exploration techniques in Nigeria”

1)      Let’s start with some background on Meridian Drilling and your work in the mining sector?
Meridian is an established UK based drilling contracting firm with extensive experience in the African mining sector.  Our Nigerian company, Meridian Drilling and Exploration Services is a joint venture between Meridian Drilling and PW Nigeria.  The company brings together Meridians drilling experience with the local and international experience of PW in the contract mining and civil engineering sectors. 

2)      Any projects that you are involved in in Nigeria that you are particularly excited about at the moment?
We are currently working with Symbol Mining on their lead zinc prospects in Bauchi State.  The first project has already started mining and we are very excited to be working with a progressive and driven company which is leading the field in utilising up to date drilling and exploration techniques in Nigeria as well as being the first company in recent years to commence modern mechanised mining.

3)      What in your view are the challenges to taking the mining sector in Nigeria to the next level?
One of the main challenges to operating in Nigeria is the lack of industry infrastructure meaning that no specialist suppliers of drilling and mining equipment keep stock in country. 

4)      And the opportunities?
If the challenges can be overcome there is vast untapped potential for mining in Nigeria which will lead to big opportunities for drilling companies established in country.

5)      What is your vision for the mining sector in Nigeria?
Again, if the ingrained perceptions of risk to operating in Nigeria can be overcome then the existing potential will be unlocked.  Our view is that the success of Symbol Mining, in their role as the first modern company to start mining,  will be critical in changing popular opinion on country risk, if successful.  The success of other western mining companies, such as Thor Explorations and Kogi Iron, will also be fundamental to this vision.

6)      You are a sponsor at Nigeria Mining Week. How important is this even to showcase the country’s mining potential?
We think that Nigeria Mining Week is important to showcase the possibilities available in Nigeria and also the fact that there are reliable suppliers with regard to drilling, contract mining and logistical support that will partner with companies to ensure their success.

7)      What will be your message at the event?
That there is a reliable, experienced drilling contractor set up in country ready to support mining and exploration companies that may be considering coming to Nigeria.