By John Okeke
Messrs La Mancha Incorporated, a leading Luxembourg Incorporated Private Gold Develpoment and Mining Company in Cairo, Egypt has signed an expression of interest agreement with Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to invest in gold mining in Nigeria.
This was contained in a release by Tine-Iulun M.A from the Ministry’s Press Unit.
Speaking during the signing ceremony coordinated by Egyptian African Arab Company for Development (EGAAD) in Cairo, Egypt recently, the Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, stated that with the signing of the Expression of Interest by La Mancha, the efforts to attract big investors into the Sector have started yeilding the desired result. He added that this will boost the diversification of the economy through the Minerals and Metals Sector.
Dr Ogah expressed satisfaction that with the collaboration between the Federal Government and La Mancha Holdings Incorporated, with portfolio companies such as Endeavour Mining, Golden Star Resources and Altus Strategies among others and with a market capital in excess of about US$10bn and over 1.2Moz of gold production. He said Nigeria stands to benefit immensely from the partnership, noting that the collaboration would further cement African brotherhood in a way that ensures development within the continent using its abundance gold resources.
Our ultimate goal is “to attract investors with the technical and financial competence to invest in our solid minerals sector, from detailed exploration to mining, development, processing and refining to producing standard ores in Nigeria”, he said.
The Minister noted that Nigeria, as the largest economy in Africa and with its vast and mostly untapped solid mineral resources, has potential for industrialization through the mineral sector.
He assured La Mancha of Federal Government’s readiness to provide conducive environment for the timely realization of its investment interest by providing available geoscience data and necessary support.
Earlier, Chairman, La Mancha, Naguib Sawiris, disclosed that the signing of the document was its way of formally expressing the Company’s interest to begin earnest operations in Nigeria.
He stated that as a company, La Mancha was continually looking at new opportunities to expand its investment in Gold Mining across Africa, adding that Nigeria possessed enough gold deposits to bid investment.
Speaking further, Sawiris said that apart from being the largest market in Africa, the political stability in Nigeria since the inception of the present democratic governance was a factor that drew the interest of the company to Nigeria, disclosing that the company’s intention is to commence operation by the first quarter of 2021.
The Nigerian Ambassador to Egypt, Prof. Dandatti Abdulkadir, expressed delight to witness the signing of the expression of Interest between the Federal Government and La Mancha and stated the Embassy’s willingness to provide all necessary bilateral support for La Mancha to actualize its investment interest in Nigeria.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for choosing the duo of the Minister and Minister of State to man the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.