The chief executive officer of Symbol Mining, Tim Wither, has stated that Nigeria’s mining potential is capable improving the nation’s economy, but largely untapped due to lack of awareness. Wither who was speaking in an interview recently said his company discovered high quality zinc and lead in commercial quantities in the country, pointing out the need to create more awareness about the huge deposits but largely untapped mineral resources in the country, while assuring that his company was prepared and determined to raise awareness about Nigeria’s potential as a mineral resource producer. He said: “We are building a reputable, safe and trusted mining company in Nigeria, and hope to raise awareness of Nigeria’s potential as a mineral resource producer.”
According to him, Symbol has two local Joint Venture projects, Tawny in Nasarawa
State and Imperial in Bauchi State, with total tenements spanning over 500km2. He said in the last six years, Symbol has completed over 12,000m of exploration drilling and in May 2018, released a maiden JORC compliant Resource of 132,700t at 18.3 per cent Zinc and 2.1 per cent Lead(Pb) for the Macy Deposit located within the Imperial project. Narrating the experience of Symbol, Wither said, “Our maiden resource demonstrated a mineralisation zone of high-grade zinc and lead. The subsequent completion of the Macy Deposit scoping study confirmed the economic viability for high-grade direct shipment ore (“DSO”) to both Chinese and European smelters. Symbol’s marketing plan is to develop a high-quality product brand, selling directly to smelters through established offtake partnerships. “Symbol’s strategy is to generate early cash flow from open pit mining at the Macy Deposit, which will facilitate further exploration activities at Imperial and Tawny, and potentially expand our resource base to grow the company.”
He had hinted shortly after the approval of the Macy project that mining had commenced, adding that after a relatively short development period of two months, Macy was expected to generate strong cash flow. “This will fund the company’s exploration activities at both its Imperial and Tawny projects,” he said. He also said the Imperial Joint Venture remained on track for its first shipment of high-grade zinc and lead product from the Macy project by the end of the third quarter of 2018. “Having commenced mining in June 2018, we have received tremendous support from our Nigerian partners and government bodies, particularly from the Mining Cadastre Office, Nigeria Geological Society and our mining contractors, PW Nigeria. “Our core values include respect and acceptance from the local communities in which we operate, and this is only achieved by open and honest conversations.
At Macy we have regular monthly meetings, shared over a meal, to communicate information on the project and listen to any challenges faced by the community. We are also focused on building a skilled local workforce and creating a framework for them to develop and learn a range of skills in a controlled and supportive manner. “Being that the Nigerian mining industry is in its infancy, a lot of our technical skills are sourced from outside the country, particularly experienced mining engineers and exploration geologists. Our vision is to grow these capabilities in-house by training and educating people from the local community. This will support our aggressive exploration and growth strategies and help expand the mining industry in Nigeria,” he said.