FG, UNIDO, Miners Collaborate on Gold Production

By October 27, 2020 NEWS

The Federal Government is collaborating with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation and the Miners Association of Nigeria to ensure the production of mercury-free gold in Nigeria.

All three parties agreed to work together to achieve the target at the virtual inception workshop for the project preparatory grant of the Global Environment Facility PlanetGold in Nigeria.

The virtual workshop, which was monitored by our correspondent in Abuja, had its theme as ‘Enhancing formalisation and mercury-free gold in Nigeria’.

In his presentation at the workshop, which was obtained on Sunday, the Minister of Environment, Mohammad Mahmood, lauded the collaboration among parties since the signing of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

He said the parties had leveraged on the collaboration for the successful execution of the Mercury Initial Assessment Project and the national action plan for the control of mercury use in the Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Nigeria project.

Mahmood said parties were now collaborating on the GEF Gold project on Enhancing Formalisation and Mercury-Free Gold in Nigeria.

He said, “Permit me to say that the advent of the GEF Gold project is timely and expected to reduce and eventually phase out the use of mercury in ASGM, as well as increase incomes and access to finance

“The project’s goal is in line with government’s priority to protect human lives and the environment, effectively implement the provisions of the Minamata Convention on mercury, strategically position the mining sector for economic growth and sustainable development.”

In his keynote address, the Regional Director and Country Representative for Nigeria and ECOWAS, UNIDO Regional Hub Nigeria, Jean Bakole, said the workshop marked another step taken together by the Federal Government and UNIDO.

He said the step would advance industrial development, economic competitiveness, safeguard the environment and improve the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector.

Bakole stated that over 90 per cent of Nigeria’s mining sector was characterised by artisanal and small-scale mining.

He noted that because of the rudimentary ways of carrying out mining and mineral processing activities, there were lots of indiscriminate use of chemicals and harmful exposure in and around mining sites and communities.

Source: Punch