Nigeria sees first iron ore output in 2012

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 Itakpe iron ore deposits

Itakpe iron ore deposits

PERTH (Reuters) – Nigeria expects the first significant iron ore production next year from its Itakpe iron ore deposits as it looks to reduce its dependence on oil and gas revenues, a government official said Friday.

 

“Unfortunately, once we found oil, all the attention went to oil and we neglected (other areas)… mining is one of the key areas that we want to diversify into,” Olusegun Aganga, minister of trade and investment, told Reuters at a mining conference in Perth, Australia.

 

The West African country, which gets nearly 80 percent of its revenues from oil and gas production, will start receiving revenue from iron ore production next year, he said.

 

The Itakpe iron ore deposit contains 3 billion tonnes of iron ore reserves, according to the minister.

 

Aganga said initial production from the mine is expected to be 2 million tonnes a year, ramping up to 20 million tonnes annually in five years, a development that will help Nigeria establish a track record in the mining industry and allow it to attract more investors.

 

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