Federal Government inaugurates first gold refining company

By Kehinde Olatunji |   10 June 2020   |   4:00 am  

The Federal Government, Tuesday, inaugurated Nigeria’s first Gold and precious Metals Refining Conglomerate, an operation of Dukia Gold a Precious Metals Raw Materials Buying Program in collaboration with Heritage Bank.

At the inauguration via a Zoom virtual meeting, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, explained that Nigeria has the potential reserves of 200 million ounces of gold, and the commencement of the project would create new opportunities locally and beyond especially after post-COVID-19.

Osinbajo expressed optimism that the launch would enable Nigeria to mine reserves properly, trade responsibly, refine locally, and boost the nation’s foreign reserves.

He added that the project will also create primary employment for local artisanal miners and mining cooperatives, and across the solid minerals value chain.

According Osinbajo, the Dukia Gold & Precious Metals Refinery Project, championed by the High Commissions of Nigeria and Canada, has been seven years in the making.

He said: “It is said that Nigeria has potential reserves of 200 million ounces of gold and the launch of this expansive project, Dukia Gold, creates new opportunities for us to mine these reserves properly, trade responsibly and refine locally. What we are looking at here is an extremely valuable new source of trade, jobs and foreign exchange.

“This project will create primary employment for local artisanal miners and mining cooperatives, and across the solid minerals value chain. Off-take agreements between Dukia Gold and local mining communities and owners of recyclable gold will be a useful provider of jobs in our post-covid economy.”

Osinbajo further explained that the official launch of the project would also birth the nationwide Dukia-Heritage Bank Gold and Precious Metals Buying Centres as part of valuable private sector collaboration to help encourage a culture of recycling mineral waste.

“Within this project, we are also commissioning the nationwide Dukia-Heritage Bank Gold and Precious Metals Buying Centres – part of valuable private sector collaboration. This provides a sustainable way for Nigerians to exchange their gold jewellery and other precious items for cash. This system of exchange not only helps encourage a culture of recycling, but will also serve as a complementary source for the raw materials needed for the Dukia Gold & Precious Metals Refining Company.”

On his part, MD/CEO of Heritage Bank Plc, Ifie Sekibo, said the partnership would boost the mining industry production, and have given birth to a new market, a platform that will contribute immensely to the transformation of Nigeria’s economy.

According to him, the operationalization of this initiative aligns with the Federal Government’s overall Economic Transformation Agenda, especially as it relates to the full steam diversification of the Nigerian economy, job and wealth creation, development of the solid mineral space amongst others.

Sekibo affirmed, “It is our believe that as the economy of Nigeria is being recalibrated, given the impact of the global pandemic, the government’s committed aspiration to build a robust and resilient economy will be further enhanced through the operationalization of this initiative working with all stakeholders across States and Government parastatals, the Central Bank, private sector and other international actors towards the development of the solid minerals sector and its appendages.”

He explained that this would enhance a regulated market that would see precious metals and other commodities take centre stage in endeavour to ensuring irreversible economic growth and development in alliance with a modernized Exchange for commodities trading in Nigeria.

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