Nigeria’s first industrial gold project is on course to enter production next year and its success would be crucial for boosting mining in Africa’s biggest oil producer, the country’s mines minister said.
Thor Explorations Ltd is spending US$98 million to develop the project, which is to have an annual average output of 80,000 ounces.
The Canada-based company’s Segilola mine in the southwest should yield gold by the end of the first quarter of next year, Nigerian Minister of Mines and Steel Development Olamilekan Adegbite told reporters in the capital, Abuja, on Friday.
The West African nation has sizable untapped deposits of metals, including iron ore, gold, zinc and lead, but almost all extraction is done on a small-scale or manual basis. The government wants to increase mining’s contribution to GDP to 3 percent by 2025, from less than 0.1 percent currently.
Thor is “the proverbial company that dares to jump in the shark-infested water and see whether it survives,” Adegbite said.
Gold for December delivery on Friday rose US$31.30 to US$1,926.20 an ounce, up 0.5 percent for the week.
Progress at Segilola would be key to attracting other mining companies to Nigeria, which offers incentives, including tax holidays and customs waivers on imported equipment, he said.
Successive administrations have pledged to grow mining’s role in the economy since Nigeria restored multiparty democracy in 1999.
Legislation to expand the sector was passed more than a decade ago.
Lagos, Nigeria-based Africa Finance Corp is backing Thor through a US$86 million debt equity financing package.
The nation sitting on half the world’s lithium reserves has a calming message for electric-vehicle makers: Tougher environmental oversight would not threaten future production of the metal used to make batteries.
Chile’s environmental regulator is working with other agencies to devise a plan for improving supervision of mining companies that pump out hundreds of liters a second of lithium-laced brine from beneath the Atacama salt flat.
Under pressure from investors and customers, miners are investing millions to reduce their footprint and they too have said that should not constrain output.
While the main objective is to mitigate the impact on the fragile ecosystem and local communities, the new integrated approach to oversight should not jeopardize production in an era in which sustainability is a starting point, said Cristobal de La Maza, who heads the agency known as SMA.
The Chilean expansion plans of Albemarle Corp and local rival SQM are crucial for the industry to meet demand that is expected to triple in the coming years, with lithium a key ingredient in batteries that power vehicles and mobile phones.
“We don’t think this is something that goes against economic interests, although our role is clearly environmental,” De La Maza said by telephone on Thursday. “In environmental matters, what was valid 30 years, today isn’t acceptable.”
The initial reaction from companies has been positive, he said, adding that they understand Chile has to be competitive not only in production, but also in environmental standards.
On the same day as De La Maza spoke, SQM announced plans to cut its use of brine in half and produce carbon-neutral lithium by 2030 — without restraining output.
That follows a lost legal battle that forced the Santiago-based company to redo a plan to address over-pumping of brine.
‧Silver for December delivery on Friday rose US$1.23 to US$25.11 an ounce, up 3.5 percent for the week.
‧Copper for December delivery on Friday rose US$0.04 to US$3.08 a pound.
Additional reporting by AP, with staff writer
MOMENTUM: While next-generation smartphones feature more semiconductors and vendors increase their inventory, the chipmaker remains focused on production in Taiwan Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the sole chip supplier for Apple Inc’s iPhone series, yesterday raised its revenue forecast again, saying that robust demand for 5G smartphones and high-performance-computing (HPC) would help boost revenue this year by 30 percent in US dollar terms. Three months ago, the chipmaker estimated that revenue would grow 20 percent this year from last year, reaching its long-term growth target of 15 to 20 percent annually. “Moving into the fourth quarter, we expect our growth in revenue to be supported by strong demand for our industry-leading 5-nanometer technology driven by 5G smartphone launches and HPC-related applications,”
WIN-WIN SITUATION: Customers, products and client portfolios of the companies are complementary, allowing for inroads into new fields, Chipbond’s chairman said Chipbond Technology Corp (頎邦) yesterday said it plans to acquire about a 31 percent stake in Orient Semiconductor Electronics Ltd (華泰電子) in a cash-and-share deal, aiming to make inroads into flash memory-chip packaging. Chipbond said the strategic alliance would open the door for the company to enter the flash memorychip packaging and testing market, which is a new business for the Hsinchu-based company. Chipbond primarily provides testing and packaging services for driver integrated circuits that are used in flat panels. BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY “Except for flash memory chips, we also saw a lot of new businesses that require the technologies of Chipbond or Oriental
India’s COVID-19 economic gloom turned into despair this week, on news that its per capita GDP for this year might be lower than that of Bangladesh. “Any emerging economy doing well is good news,” Kaushik Basu, a former World Bank chief economist, said on Twitter after the IMF updated its World Economic Outlook. “But it’s shocking that India, which had a lead of 25% five years ago, is now trailing.” Ever since it began opening up the economy in the 1990s, India’s dream has been to emulate China’s rapid expansion. After three decades of persevering with that campaign, slipping behind Bangladesh hurts
BROADER STANCE: While growth in its core consumer electronics assembly business is decreasing, the manufacturing giant aims at a 10 percent gross margin Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) said it aims to secure a 10 percent share of the world’s electric vehicle market by 2025, with about 3 million vehicles potentially using its platform. The electronics giant yesterday unveiled the plan to expand its nascent automobile business, saying that it seeks to offset slowing growth in its core consumer electronics assembly business. The company also outlined plans to release a solid-state battery by 2024 that could potentially displace the more commonly used lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles. Hon Hai plans to achieve its ambitious target by making its software and hardware platforms “open,” Hon Hai