Randgold Resources
Clearly, despite all the challenges and difficulties our industry has been through or may continue to experience moving forward, there is always something to celebrate. That is what makes this job worthwhile!
- Laura Cornish, Editor
Interviews  
7 September 2017

Exclusive interview with Alhaji Sani Shehu, the President, Miners Association of Nigeria

 who are the organisers of the upcoming Nigeria Mining Week, in partnership with Spintelligent and PwC Nigeria.

“Nigeria Mining Week is becoming a sustainable annual mining event that is solutions oriented”

1)      How excited are you about this year’s Nigeria Mining Week? What is new for 2017?
I am excited about the second Nigeria Mining Week because it is becoming a sustainable annual mining event that is solutions oriented. This tallies with the major objective of the event right from inception. The 2017 Nigerian Mining Week has new initiatives which are unique; the Dragons Den Session in which selected companies will make presentation to a panel that will decide who qualifies to partner with the dragons is a new initiative that will add value to the Mining Week.

A session between the Hon. Minister of Mines and giant investors to hold frank discussions on the development of the mining  industry in Nigeria is also a step in the right direction to carry operators/investors in the Nigerian mining reform process.

2)      Any specific projects that the Mining Association of Nigeria is involved in for its members that you are particularly excited about?
In 2012, the Miners Association of Nigeria collaborated with the US Embassy and held sensitization programs on lead poison to our members. In 2014, the Canadian Embassy collaborated with the Association to organize a program for the small scale miners of gem stones. We are currently working with the Federal Ministry of Environment and UNIDO to discourage the use of mercury in gold extraction. We are also packaging a Miners Mechanization Program that focuses on the equipment and mechanization challenges of our small scale members.

3)      What have been the main challenges for the mining sector in the last year?
The challenges of the sector for the last year are the challenges that have been with the sector since the departure of the mechanized foreign miners and gradual neglect of the sector by the Government. The challenges can be summarized as thus;
* Inadequate geological data
* Infrastructure
* Lack of latest technology for both exploration and exploitation
* Funding
* Community issues

4)      What have been the main accomplishments for the sector in your view in the last 12 months or so?
Mining is attracting more and more attention from the Government, local and foreign investors, banks etc.

5)      What is your vision for this sector?
My vision is to see a mining sector that provides massive jobs for the people, provides raw materials for the local industries and export metals and gem stones for foreign exchange earnings.

6)      How important is the Nigeria Mining Week as a meeting place for the sector?
It gives opportunities for all concerned to fraternize, exchange ideas and establish business relationships among participants.

7)      What will be MAN’s message at the event this year?
Participants should take advantage of the expert presentations to acquire knowledge as mining is a knowledge oriented business.

8)      Anything you would like to add?
The Nigeria Mining Week should be sustained and be made a solution based event by providing linkage opportunities for partnerships among the different categories of operators.

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