As Nigeria looks to diversify its economy away from oil and gas, Canada based Thor Explorations looks to fastrack this diversification by bringing the West African country’s first large-scale gold mine online by 2020.
According to the CEO of Thor Explorations, Segun Lawson, “Thor is currently developing the country’s most advanced gold mine,” adding that the Canada-listed junior miner has a mining and exploration licence and is considering his options for raising $72 million to get the mine into production.
In 2017, the World Bank noted that it will provide funds worth about $150 million to help the country develop its neglected mining sector following a 2015/2016 commodity price crash. Last year, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) reported that the mining industry contributed only N113 billion to the nation’s coffers in five years.
Figures from World Bank shows that due to the mining sector’s struggles, its inability to attract foreign investment and meet domestic needs, which has forced costly imports, the mining industry provides only around 0.5 percent of GDP.
Currently, with the help of funding from the World Bank, various mining projects are underway in the country. Some of the projects include Thor Explorations’ Segilola Gold Project in the Western part of the country, Osun State, which Lawson says is aimed at producing gold in the first quarter of 2020 and has probable gold reserves of around 500,000 ounces. The Segilola project cost the company $3.1 million in cash, plus 6 million Thor Explorations shares in 2016.