LONDON (Reuters) – Canada-listed junior miner Thor Explorations (THX.V) aims to bring Nigeria’s first large-scale gold mine online in early 2020, its CEO said, as the West African country seeks to diversify its economy away from oil and gas.
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 and has probable gold reserves of around 500,000 ounces.
“Thor is currently developing the country’s most advanced gold mine,” Lawson said in a telephone interview. He says he has a mining and exploration license and is considering his options for raising $72 million to get the mine into production.
Lawson bought the Segilola project in 2016 for $3.1 million in cash plus 6 million Thor shares. He promises rapid payback on the investment once production starts.