Exclusive interview with Fadi A. Ghazale – Managing Director of AG Vision Mining, a longstanding partner of and gold sponsor at the upcoming Nigeria Mining Week in Abuja from 14-16 October.
Let’s start with some background on AG Vision and your work in the mining sector?
AG Vision Mining Ltd. (AGVM), provides tailor-made consulting services across the full geological spectrum in accordance with international best practices.
Headed by Dr Warwick Crowe, AGVM has an experienced team of renowned geologists and geoscientists.
We currently operate the largest and the most experienced Nigerian based mineral exploration team; we are currently exploring on several fronts in Nigeria.
In the last two years, AGVM has been expanding its resource base. Driven by the industry’s positive outlook and the Federal Government’s bold step in actualizing the sector, our company has acquired some advanced and exclusive exploration gear, software and geophysical equipment.
To name a few, the first Electro Magnetic time domain system in Nigeria, a multi-purpose drill rig (Reverse Circulation and Diamond Drilling), Down the hole survey tools, several magnetometers, Laboratory equipped with preparation and XRF facilities.
For over three years now, we have turned our acquired data into a hub of information on Nigeria’s geology, mineral systems and their controls, geological maps and a wide set of data about artisanal workings, the environment, road network and communities, etc.
We are proud of this unique feature, in which AGVM is able to position itself at the forefront of the development of Nigeria’s mineral industry.
AGVM recently acquired the Comacchio GEO 602 EX Multipurpose drill rig. With this proven model, AGVM seeks to deliver high-end drilling services with both capabilities, Reverse Circulation (RC) and Diamond Drilling (DD). Our crew of senior drill managers, geologists, geo-technicians, and mechanical technicians will take care of all aspects of the programme.
We handle Laboratories and make sure that core and/or chips are logged, sampled and modelled to perfection. We use our own standard operating procedures, which are based on the industry’s highest standards.
Our team has a broad background in conceptual and systematic targeting of mineralization, from regional scale projects to the planning and implementation of more focused prospect scale targeting projects.
In short, we support you all the way from deposit definition to resource drilling.
Any projects that you are involved in in Nigeria that you are particularly excited about at the moment?
In my view, Nigeria’s mineral scene has never experienced such a prominent national interest. In partnership with the ministry of mines and steel development (MMSD) and the National Geological survey (NGSA), AGVM is exploring for several minerals under the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Program (NIMEP).
We are undertaking the works program for LOT A1. This includes two target programs: vein gold and based metal associations and PGE-Ni-Cr-Co mineralisation.
The program covers about a third of Nigeria with an area coverage of 300,500 km2. The project is currently in advanced stages in terms of ground works. The results are looking highly encouraging.
The primary deliverables will include the definition of a number of defined high-level exploration targets followed up by a drilling program on our most viable targets. We will be aiming to advance a number of deposit targets to at least a preliminary resource stage.
It is laudable that the current administration is doing its best to enable a conducive environment for the sector to flourish, and it is through these kinds of projects that help us understand the geological setup and the mineral system of Nigeria, that foreign investors will start considering Nigeria as a mining destination
In parallel, we are currently overseeing and working on several assets in the North-western and North-eastern part of the country, with some other ongoing projects in the country’s middle belt.
Gold, lead, zinc, tin, phosphate, gypsum, copper, nickel, among others are some of the targeted minerals. We can testify that Nigeria’s high endowment in solid minerals is real, is economically viable, and occurs in most of the local governments around the nation.
We are equally drilling several assets covering some of the above-cited minerals. We expect that by next year, many positive outcomes will be highlighted in this same venue.
What in your view are the challenges to taking the mining sector in Nigeria to the next level?
Understanding the multifaceted aspect of mineral exploration is still lacking in Nigeria. Our audience of local investors and mineral titleholders need to be informed about the pros and cons of holding a mineral title.
We are fully supportive of the organic efforts driven by the Federal Government that are directed towards the nurturing of a conducive environment, and we encourage them to continue to strive for sustainability.
What is your vision for the mining sector in Nigeria?
With the recent interventions of the Federal Government by firstly providing local operators with access to funding, and secondly awarding a national exploration program to several companies, we can foresee that in the next couple of years Nigeria will meet its roadmap targets by becoming a mining destination.
My vision is to see several junior exploration companies investing in Nigeria’s mineral potential. This element is core in fixing Nigeria on the global mining map.
You are a gold sponsor at this year's Nigeria Mining Week. How important is this even to showcase the country’s mining potential?
We are excited and looking forward to gaining a wider exposure. We want the local companies to know about our services and the global juniors to know that the Nigerian market already entails high renowned exploration companies with an access to globally recognized experts. Our team can sign up to a JORC level, something Nigeria was lacking in the past.
What will be your message at the event?
I want to encourage our audience in general and Nigerians in particular, to play a supportive role for the current administration in its genuine quest to enable Nigeria’s mineral potential.
Mining is an incremental process and it is only through sustainable steps that the Nigerian flag will be placed on the international mining map.