HomeFeatures & AnalysisExclusive interview with Gbenga Ojo, Managing Partner, Afromin Consulting Limited

Exclusive interview with Gbenga Ojo, Managing Partner, Afromin Consulting Limited

“Nigerian mining companies do not need to travel around the world any longer in search of the best technical services”

1) Let’s start with some background on Afromin Consulting Limited and your work in the mining sector?
Afromin is a techno-economic mining consulting firm established in March 2017, and based in South Africa and Nigeria. We have a vision of providing a one stop comprehensive solution for government and mining/exploration companies in Africa. As a company, we seek to provide tailor made innovative solutions and services to our clients, taking into consideration the need to provide good returns to shareholders, whilst ensuring that each project is explored, developed or operated in a manner compliant with its host country’s mineral laws and policies.

Our vision is motivated by our knowledge of global best practices, the uniqueness of doing business in Africa, and our relationship with minerals and mining companies, governments, industry service providers, banks and financial institutions globally, but particularly in Africa.

2) Any projects that you are involved in in Nigeria that you are particularly excited about at the moment?
Since its establishment, Afromin has been able to position itself as a respected mining advisory firm in Nigeria, having being appointed as a technical advisor and technical partner on two gold projects located in Osun and Kwara State respectively. We also have obtained mandates to seek technical partners and funding’s for some strategic projects in Nigeria. In addition, we are excited to have sold two modular gold processing’s plants to an exploration company and a small scale mining firm in Nigeria. The modular plants are products of Appropriate Processing Technologies, South Africa, for which Afromin has a sole distribution right in Nigeria and some other West Africa countries.

3) What in your view are the challenges to taking the mining sector in Nigeria to the next level?
Afromin is of the opinion that there are three keys challenges forcing the Nigeria mining sector from moving to the next level. These are namely, capacity building, funding and unrealistic expectations of asset owners.

Afromin believes that the need for capacity building is largely underestimated by stakeholders in the industry and there seems to be a greater focus on capital raising. The danger is that indigenous companies are positioning themselves as deal facilitators and commodity traders rather than industry experts, a position that is not sustainable for any government serious about the development of any sector, particularly a strategic sector like the mining sector.

From experience, Afromin has also realised that because of the lack of adequate knowledge of the global best practise, most asset owners do not seem to understand the actual value of their minerals assets. For more often than not, these assets are overvalued. The situation has led to asset owners demanding unrealistic value from investors willing to invest in their projects. In Afromin’s opinion, this problem is also a reflection of the lack of local capacity/expertise in the industry.

4) What is your vision for the mining sector in Nigeria?
Afromin’s vision for the mining sector in Nigeria is to become the leading techno-economic mining consulting firm in Nigeria, which will provide tailor made services to its clients that are aimed at positioning these firms to be globally competitive or alternatively to be positioned to guarantee good returns to their shareholders. In addition, we intend to contribute in facilitating skill transfer between our staff team, most of whom are currently non Nigerians, but are willing to ensure Nigerians are trained for the sustainability of this sector in the years ahead.

5) What will be your message at the Nigeria Mining Week?
Our message is simply: Nigerian mining companies do not need to travel around the world any longer in search of the best technical services, Afromin is here to provide a tailor made technical service to serious companies that are serious about global best practise and good shareholders returns.

6) Anything you would like to add?
Afromin is excited that on display at our exhibitor stand at the Nigeria Mining Week, will be the goldkacka and goldkonka, both gold processing modular plants produced by Appropriate Processing Technology, South Africa. We look forward to sharing with the delegates at the conference, how APT is well positioned to provide proven and tested processing’s plants to artisanal, small scale miners and medium scale miners. This Afromin/APT partnership is part of our innovative solution to the Nigeria mining sector.