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Local Nigerian firm pulls out the big guns

Established in 2012, Nigeria-based mining explorer and services company Kian Smith Trade & Co is looking to develop and nurture the gold mining value chain in West Africa – through the establishment of a trading arm and imminent launch of a gold refinery in-country. This will encourage an eco-system of greater sustainability and growth within the sector, MD Nere Teriba tells Laura Cornish.

While the Nigerian mining sector is largely undeveloped, the sector has the potential for significant growth, particularly within the gold sector, considering the country has a large appetite for gold jewellery, Teriba explains. “So even though Nigeria lacks proven gold reserves, we believe our company can still add value to the sector, not by finding gold but rather by creating value-adds downstream through trading and refining (as most of the rest of West Africa has proven gold reserves).” Teriba aspires to become a trading and refining hub of the entire West African gold sector – encouraging in-country business and more importantly, beneficiation. This is not only beneficial for the established gold sector, but will also promote the legal establishment and growth of the artisanal and small-scale mining sector in the region – which is a major objective for Nigeria in particular. In fact, at present exploitation of gold deposits is carried out mostly by artisanal miners in a few places in the country. The establishment of a refinery is also not a pipe dream but is well into execution. Construction is underway and the official launch of the refinery is scheduled for 2019. “Kian has already entered into the process of securing gold from strategic partners and will reveal greater detail on this in due course.” To provide great momentum to the MD’s strategy, the company will be joined by a former president of the British Secondary Metals Association, David Bensusan. Bensusan has over 40 years’ experience in the trading, mining and processing of minerals in Africa and will be a key contributor to achieving this vision, Teriba concludes.

Exploration part of the total package

Kian Smith Trade & Co is also actively exploring for gold and owns land packages in Nigeria that cover approximately 250 km² across two regions in four fields.