Currently there are two gold mining companies in Nigeria. Segilola Nigeria Limited has a license to mine gold in Osun State, and Geotechniques Nigeria Limited has a license to mine gold in Kebbi State. Deposits of gold have been found in the northern part of Nigeria. The areas where these deposits are found include Maru, Tsohon, Bin Yauri, and Iperindo.
Gold Mining History in Nigeria
Mining for gold in these areas began in 1913. By the 1930's, however, mining began to abate. By the time World War II began, gold production was nil. Imperial companies left the mines, so gold extraction ceased. There was a resurgence of interest to mine again in the 1960's, but the Nigerian Civil War thwarted those efforts.
Then during the 1980's, the search for gold resumed by the Nigerian Mining Corporation (NMC). The NMC was not successful in part because of poor funding of the venture.
Mining in general was abounding with problems because of government impassivity. This indifference was due to government focus on the discovery of oil in 1956. Oil remains the most valuable commodity in Nigeria today. However, in 2015, the government issued gold mining licenses to the two companies mentioned above.
Future Gold Mining in Nigeria
The biggest roadblock to gold mining by large prospectors is the lack of information on Nigeria's gold mining activities by the government. Another factor is that small-scale miners do not keep adequate records of the gold that they have discovered. As a result, the value of the nation's gold is minimized.
Yet, there is gold in Nigeria. The proof is that 1.4 metric tons of gold were mined in the early 1930's. However, in order for gold mining companies to feel secure enough to prospect in Nigeria, information on the amount of gold being mined must be made available. Safe mining systems must also be in place for the small-scale miner.
The Nigerian government has a lot of work to do to attract gold mining companies. It has produced some literature on gold mining, but that is not enough. What is needed is a wide-spread campaign to inform those who are interested in serious gold mining and a better method of licensing and record keeping.