Japanese firm to invest $45m in Nigerian manganese mining as government sets up mineral investment promotion unit
ABUJA -A Japanese firm, Asia Mineral Limited, AML, prospecting for manganese in some northern states of Nigeria last week said it is set to invest about $45million (N6.7billion) in the development of the metal if granted mining license by Federal government.
The President of AML, Mr. Tetsuro Yano, who led a delegation of Japanese investors on a visit to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Mohammed Musa Sada, in Abuja, said the firm has been conducting tests in Zamfara, Taraba and Kebbi states.
Yano said the company has plans to build a processing factory for manganese in the country with a projected mining of 30,000 tons a month of manganese.
According to Yano, who is a former Senior Vice Minister for International Affairs of Japan and President of the Association of African Economic Development (AFRECO), disclosed that their company, Asian Minerals Limited which is one of the best mining companies in the world, requires a large amount of manganese for its production and its operation is already in progress in the country.
He noted that the company already has mining projects in India, South Africa, Zambia, Brazil and Malaysia, adding that he was looking towards working with the Nigerian Government to explore ways of boosting the production of Manganese, which is in abundance in the country.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Mining and Steel, Arch Mohammed Sada, said that the mining sector was going through reforms through the setting up of a unit in the ministry the promotion and investments in the sector.
He stated that the establishment of a mineral investment promotion unit in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development will improve investments whereby both local and foreign direct investment would be attracted to the sector, adding that when it becomes operational, it would offer both local and foreign investors the opportunity of having easy access to any investment information they seek for in the minerals and metal sector.
According to him, “The sector is currently going through reforms whereby government is making laws binding the sector and in the interest of investors. We are in the process of setting up a unit in the ministry for mineral promotion and investment in order to make it easy and create an enabling environment whereby there will be one office to go and make enquiries about mineral investment.”
He assured the association of the government’s determination to support and collaborate with both local and foreign investors towards the development of the country’s minerals and metal sector.
Arc. Sada pointed out that Japan was one of the pioneers in the development of the nation’s steel industry, stressing that the steel industry needed to grow and the participation of Japan in the development is highly desired by the government
He said, “We are always very willing to sit with you and discuss areas you want to do business with us. As a government we will give you all the necessary support to be sure that everything goes smoothly.
“I am very pleased with your manganese projects and want to reassure you that we are willing to help you to make it grow bigger and do better business. You are free to come to us and request of anything that you want that can expand that manganese business”.
He explained that Nigeria identifies Japan as one of its major partners in the areas of mining and steel development, noting that government tried to involve Japanese companies in the activation of the Ajaokuta Steel plant no agreement was reached.
Manganese is essential to the production of steel and iron and it is a vital component of lower cost stainless steels. It is alloyed with aluminum to produce a metal that is more resistant to corrosion. Most aluminum beverage cans contain 0.8 to 1.5 percent of manganese.