Project Excites Nigerian Govt
By Franklin Alli
“WE will be mining 5.4 million tons of iron ore, beneficiate the ore to produce high grade concentrate followed by making into pellets and finally, into Directly Reduced Iron, DRI.”
Managing Director of African Industries Group of Companies, Mr. Alok Gupta, made the disclosures when the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olamilekan Adegbite, visited the company’s $600 million Integrated Steel Plant project site in Kagarko, Kaduna State.
“The DRI will be used to make steel billets and will avoid our need to import the same.
“The project will eliminate the need to import steel billets thereby saving scarce foreign exchange,” he said, adding the company will inaugurate Phase 1 of the plant by December 2020.
In his address, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, said the Federal Government will support the investors behind the $600 million integrated steel plant.
He also said government will, henceforth, ask investors in the mining sector to develop site communities to avoid a repeat of the crisis in the Niger Delta. His words: “It is part of our mandate to encourage investment in mining and steel development, which this group has started.
“My visit here is to encourage this investment and also to urge them to do this as quickly as possible to bring the obvious benefits, first to the community where it belongs.
“This government is particularly interested in not making the mistakes we made in the Niger Delta; when the oil investment started, the communities were not taken along.”
Kaduna govt reacts
Speaking, Chief of Staff of the Governor of Kaduna, Muhammed Abdullahi, said the state is “highly elated to welcome the investment and that the government of the state is in talks with the company for further investments.
“As the MD has mentioned, this is perhaps the single largest investment in the country that is non-oil related today, $600m is a lot of money and a huge investment. For us in Kaduna, this marks our second large investment, the first is the Olam farms which is a $350m investment and is just down the road from this investment,” he said.