Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), one of the continent’s premier infrastructure providers, and the Solid Minerals Development Fund of Nigeria (SMDF), a Nigerian mining-focused development fund, have announced a transformative partnership. The objective is to derisk Nigeria’s mining sector and elevate artisanal miners to industrial-scale operations.
This strategic alliance, a result of an earlier cooperation agreement, addresses the challenges of expertise and funding for early-stage mining projects, propelling them towards financial close and full-scale operation.
AFC and SMDF – Fostering potential
Nigeria boasts abundant mineral resources and significant mining potential, yet the lack of expertise and funding hinders the development of mining projects. AFC and SMDF join forces to bridge this gap, unlocking the nation’s mineral resources. Their collaboration offers not only investment opportunities but also a joint project development facility with technical support, providing promising mining projects the guidance and funding required for success.
The AFC, SMDF Investment Manual: A blueprint for success
A pivotal deliverable of this partnership is the AFC-SMDF Investment Manual. This comprehensive guide demystifies the joint project development facility, its objectives, and project consideration requirements. It features an appraisal checklist outlining evaluation criteria for project sponsors.
Streamlined project submission process
To streamline project submissions, AFC and SMDF have established a dedicated portal for project sponsors. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the global professional services firm, along with Nigerian consulting firms, will manage the portal. They will conduct initial evaluations, with selected projects forwarded to AFC and SMDF for further assessment.
Charting the future: A comprehensive feasibility study
AFC and SMDF have enlisted the expertise of Wood Mackenzie, a leading global research and consulting firm, to undertake a comprehensive study. This study evaluates the feasibility of establishing a midstream processing plant in Nigeria, focusing on critical minerals such as Lithium, Nickel, and other energy transition metals abundant in the country. By assessing the profitability and return potential of midstream and downstream mineral processing projects, the study lays a robust foundation to further derisk the investment landscape for potential investors.
Samaila Zubairu, President and CEO of AFC, commented, “We are excited to partner with the Solid Minerals Development Fund of Nigeria to derisk the country’s mining sector. This collaboration signifies our commitment to unlock the vast potential of Nigeria’s mineral resources by leveraging renewable energy sources for local processing, fostering sustainable development and economic prosperity in Nigeria and Africa.”
Fatima Umaru Shinkafi, Executive Secretary and CEO of Solid Minerals Development Fund, added, “These initiatives align with the Renewed Hope Agenda and the Ministry’s Transformation Agenda of leveraging the mining sector to catalyze economic growth, competitiveness, and job creation.”
This partnership between AFC and SMDF is a significant step towards harnessing Nigeria’s mineral wealth and positioning the nation as a key player in the global mining industry.
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