Can Africa’s mines sector shake off investors’ negative perceptions?

As Nigeria gears up for elections next month, policies on mining and mineral exploration will be of special interest to investors. While the country is known for its high-quality crude, with global oil prices significantly below their past highs, Nigeria is looking to attract mining investment in a bid to diversify revenues. Currently, the oil and gas sector represents 70% of Nigeria’s GDP and 90% of its revenues. “By 2025 we want metals and mining sectors to account for 3-7% of our GDP,” the minister of state for Mines and Steel, Abubakar Bawa Bwarii told  S&P Global Platts. At the moment this sector accounts for only 0.5% of Nigeria’s GDP. For their part, investors have been eyeing opportunities in Africa’s unexplored mineral reserves, but issues around security, infrastructure, and overall ease of doing business remain key perception challenges for the continent as a whole. At the Mines and Money conference in London in December, Hajiya Fatima Shinkafi, Executive Secretary of Nigeria’s Solid Minerals Development Fund, said: “There are perception challenges, definitely. Everyone knows Africa is the last frontier, in terms of resources, and not fully explored. For example, there’s a billion tons of coal in terms of estimated reserves and… continue reading

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