A Nigerian firm, Thor Exploration Limited (also known as Segilola), a gold mining company operating in Osun State, has emerged winner of the 2018 Investment Battlefield for their gold exploration project in the Southwest state.
The company was selected as the most promising of the 22 junior mining companies that participated in the battlefield, after beating Algold Resources, a Mauritanian gold explorer and developing company to the second place.
Segilola’s CEO, Segun Lawson, accepted the award after pitching the project to a panel of judges made up of leading analysts and investors, on Wednesday night in Cape Town, South Africa.
The award came just as Nigeria was named among the top ten mining designations for 2019.
Thor Exploration Limited, which has considerable interest in some West African countries is also listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and the asset is owned 100 per by Segilola Gold Project in Osun State.
Thor has been developing the Segilola Gold Project since it acquired it 15 months ago and aims to break ground this year by commencing construction.
The Segilola Gold Project was presented by Thor Exploration Limited to a number of investor panels at the 2018 Mining Indaba in the extremely competitive Investor Battlefield Competition, which ran over the course of three days. Thor and Segilola emerged victorious over all participants with Segilola being declared the “Best Emerging Mining Project in Africa”.
“The economic robustness of the project, the progressive Mining Code of Nigeria and the regulatory framework of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, as well as the potential to increase its size through further exploration were the key critical factors considered by the panel,” Lawson said.
Head of Nigerian delegation to the conference and Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who hailed the developments, said the various reforms being put in place by government were designed to create enabling environment for thriving mining activities.
“We are looking forward to more cheery news of great exploits. We want to be a big mining destination, in addition to our dual mandate of job creation and economic growth,” Fayemi added.
General Manager, Global Business Report, Alice Pascoletti, said Nigeria’s inclusion among the top mining destinations for 2019, was premised on factors, such as legal and regulatory framework, ease of doing business, risk profile as well as experiences of operators in the country.
Thor’s CEO, Lawson, 39, a geologist who was educated in the United Kingdom, had a brief stint in investment banking before venturing into mining, when he founded the company some eight years ago.
Thor Explorations currently employs 52 people in the three West African countries, but Lawson said this would rise to about 250 once production starts at the Segilola Gold project, which is its flagship.