Canada-listed junior miner Thor Explorations aims to bring Nigeria’s first large-scale gold mine online in early 2020, as the West African country seeks to diversify its economy away from oil and gas, Reuters reports.
Following the commodity price crash of 2015-16, the World Bank in April 2017 said it was providing funds to help the Nigerian government develop its neglected mining sector. Projects under way include Thor Explorations’ Segilola Gold Project, located in Osun State, which CEO Segun Lawson says aims to produce gold in the first quarter of 2020.
The World Bank has provided around $150 million to the Nigerian government to kickstart non-oil sectors after the economy was hit by a fall in oil prices, which are now recovering. Mining provides only around 0.5% of GDP, according to World Bank figures, as the sector has struggled to attract foreign investment and to meet domestic needs. Nigeria is also endowed with mineral resources such as coal and iron ore among others.