Nigeria launches domestic gold mine-to-market scheme
Dukia Gold was launched as the country's first gold and precious metals refining conglomerate, aimed at opening access for the domestic precious metals industry to global markets.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development Olamilekan Adegbite launched a raw materials buying programme to be operated by Dukia Gold, which will ensure that the sourcing and aggregation of precious metals meets global standards.
The company is also launching a proprietary trading platform and will set up a refinery. Dukia will act as the country's indigenous gold and other precious metals refining and trading company.
"These initiatives will fill a substantial gap that is needed to cover the full value chain from mines and recyclable gold to the mint, and from the mint to market," said Bose Owolabi, managing director of Dukia, in a statement carried by Business Day.
She added that the programmes will enable Nigerians to trade and receive fair value for precious metals that originate from Nigeria or are produced domestically.
"Nigeria's enormous deposits of gold and precious metals have largely remained untapped due to a lack of capital investment, inattention to policy and the distraction of fossil fuels dependency," said Owolabi.
Nigeria is looking to revive its mining and minerals sector, which currently accounts for only 0.3% of its GDP, with Adegbite outlining in February plans to increase this contribution to 3% by 2025.
The conglomerate has entered into agreement with Heritage Bank, licensed by Nigeria's Central Bank, under which Heritage will assist in sourcing and aggregating gold and other precious metals in line with OECD guidelines.
"As we commence operations nationwide we are focussing on adding value to the gold and precious metals industry in Nigeria and West Africa in delivering a major source of alternative foreign exchange revenues.
"When our refinery becomes fully operational it will be the first of its kind in West Africa, and it will open opportunities for artisanal miners, gold and precious metals owners and allied enterprise to obtain appropriate financial value for their products amongst other benefits.
"The company will also work with miners who register on its platform to ensure that they get access to appropriate plant, machinery, equipment, tools, kits and support required by them so as to improve their productivity and ensure better health, safety and environmental conditions."