Value addition now a standard for Mining operations – Alake

March 27, 2024

Value addition now a standard for Mining operations – Alake

Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake has declared value addition as the irreducible standard for mining operations in the country.

This was contained in a press release issued yesterday by Segun Tomori, Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Solid Minerals Development.

Speaking during an inspection tour of the gigantic $600m African Natural Resources and Mines Limited, ANRML, facility, in Kaduna State, that hosts the mining and processing of magnetite iron-ore, Alake hailed the tenacity and foresight of the investors to build what was touted as one of the biggest foreign investment in the Mining sector.

According to him, the company aligns with his vision of value addition and beneficiation through its processing of iron-ore, urging other mining companies to take a cue from it.

He restated the position of the Federal Government to refrain from granting Mining licenses to companies without requisite plans for value addition.

Drawing parallels between the experience of ANRML and the economic situation in the country, the Minister asserted that the same ingredients of resilience, courage and laying of a solid foundation that the made the company a success story are critical factors guiding the economic restructuring of the present administration, expressing optimism that it will culminate in economic transformation.

He added, “I want to use you, the African Natural Resources and Mines Ltd., as a concrete example of what can happen when you set your mind to it. We have set our minds in this administration and invariably in Nigeria to achieve success, that’s why Mr. President is restructuring the economy. When this company started 7 years ago, we saw one of the foundations through the video documentary, the amount of concrete that went in to erect a foundation, just to carry a giant edifice. That’s what we are going through. When we get through the gestation period, the results will manifest, and it will herald prosperity.”

In her submission, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Azoka-Aniete lauded the company for its giant stride in iron ore production and processing, stressing that the company will be part of the nation’s efforts to scale up local steel manufacturing and local manufacturing of automobiles through the Nigeria Automotive Industry Plan.

In her words, “As we tackle the rising cost of goods, it is imperative to address the underlying components driving these costs.

“Our focus on the Steel Sector demonstrates our commitment to fostering a conducive environment for industrial growth and economic prosperity.”

According to her, the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment remains steadfast in its dedication to promoting sustainable development and fostering a vibrant business ecosystem.

Adding that through strategic interventions such as the ventilation plan, Nigeria was poised to unlock the full potential of its industrial sector and drive inclusive economic transformation.

Also, the General Managing Director, ANRML, Mr Alok Gupta with immense pride, reflected on their journey that commenced in 2016 with the “Community Development Agreement and Land Acquisition” in Gujeni, which has culminated in the establishment of a fully integrated Iron ore Mining and Processing plant by 2023, a groundbreaking achievement and the first of its kind in Nigeria.

He expressed optimism that the real wealth of a nation lies in its natural resources, pledging that the project will be fully utilized to make real wealth for Nigeria.

Gupta disclosed that ANRML has a mining capacity of over 5 million tonnes per annum and its produced Direct Reduced Iron, DRI, will be a direct substitute for ferrous scrap currently used as raw material for producing steel in Nigeria, which will gradually position Nigeria as a prominent Crude Steel producer globally.

He noted that ANMRL has created direct and indirect employment for up to 4000 Nigerians, giving regular disposable income to feed many families.

He revealed that the firm has also invested in the development of host community and made substantial contributions to education, electricity, borehole installations, scholarships, supply of medical drugs, training and development, as well as local festivities saying that a lot of small businesses such as tailoring, food and goods sellers have also opened shops, generating income and jobs, thereby helping them to prosper.

The ANMRL helmsman stated that none of this would have been possible without the steadfast support of the Federal Government, particularly “Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment” and “Ministry of Solid Minerals Development” adding that ANRML was a testimony of the Government’s commitment to reduce steel importation, promote local manufacturing, boost foreign reserves, and contribute to Gross Domestic Product, GDP.

He remained optimistic about Nigeria’s growth trajectory and envisioned a future where the nation emerges as a trillion-dollar powerhouse.

He implored, for the continued support of both Ministries in collectively realizing the firm’s vision for a prosperous, self-sufficient, and industrially advanced Nigeria.

On his part, His Royal Highness, Engr James Bitrus said no community can develop in isolation, adding that the coming of ANRML presented a ray of light that Dnata was on the path of development, which was only possible through mutual respect built upon mutual benefits, sacrifices and understanding.

He urged the company to document its Social Corporate Responsibility not only for the Supervisory Ministry or Agency to see their good works, but also as evidence based indicators for posterity to justify it.

The Royal Father further stressed that ANRML should focus on; education, health, job and food security in their corporate social responsibilities, as these aspects have direct bearing with the sacrifices the indigenes of the community made and are still making for the national benefits.

He assured of running an open door policy in suggesting ways forward for the project and continuous sensitization of his people on peaceful co- existence, and being accommodative in order to actualize the dreams of the expected development.

In his closing remarks, a Board Member of the Company, Dr John Akanya appreciated the General Managing Director for his dedication, focus, and the foresight to ensure that the project becomes a reality.

He acknowledged the Ministers for value addition of the minerals, prayed for divine strength to implement their mandates, and that their labors and investments in the project would bring blessings to Nigeria.

Akanya also called on the host community to create an enabling environment to execute the project in order to impact on the community and the entire country, while charging ANMRL staff to collaborate in upholding the company to enable it produce.

Highlights of the visit include the visiting teams inspection tour of the company’s mining site, processing plants such as (the beneficiation for cleansing of raw ore, conveyor, which moves finer products to beneficiation), power plant for mining coal and generating power to the host community, the burning disc and DRI plant, among other facilities, and the presentation of momentos to the Ministers, among few other dignitaries.

The ANRML operations involves magnetite iron-ore mining through to beneficiation, and pelletisation processes which results to Direct Reduced Iron, DRI, which will eventually position Nigeria as one of the prominent crude steel producers upon the commencement of exports.