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Nigeria Woos Barrick Gold and Rio Tinto to Spur Nascent Mining Industry

  • Most extraction of metals like gold is done informally
  • Government plans to auction rights to mine lithium in 2022
mine miner mining
Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
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Barrick Gold Corp. and Rio Tinto Group have expressed interest in Nigeria’s largely untapped mining sector, according to the West African nation’s mining minister, although the gold miner denied any plans to enter the new market.

“They are looking at the possibility of coming to look at opportunities in Nigeria,” Olamilekan Adegbite said in an interview at a mining conference in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh. Africa’s biggest crude producer is hoping investors will follow the example of Thor Explorations Ltd., which has built the country’s first industrial gold project, as it seeks to cut its dependence on oil earnings.