Milestone moment for Nigeria as Thor pours first gold a Segilola mine

Nigeria’s Minister of Mines has hailed the country as ‘the next big frontier mining destination’ after Thor Explorations produced first gold at its open pit Segilola mine in Southwestern Nigeria.

In a statement on Friday, Minister of Mines Olamilekan Adegbite said the first pour of gold at Segilola is a testament to the current government’s “drive to diversify the economy through the mining sector.”

Africa’s largest oil producer has significant untapped deposits of metals including gold, zinc, lead and iron ore, but nearly all extraction is done informally on a small-scale or manual basis, with mining contributing just 0.1% to Nigeria’s GDP.

On the contrary, crude oil sales account for more than 90% of Nigeria’s export earnings and about half of national income, leaving the state highly reliant on oil.

TSX and AIM-listed Thor has received promotion from the Nigerian Government upon completing the US$100 million construction of the Segilola mine. The miner will now seek to ramp up the plant over the next six weeks, targeting output of 85,000 ounces a year.

“The first gold pour at Segilola, our first mine and the first commercial gold mine in Nigeria, is a significant achievement for the company,” said Thor’s president and CEO Segun Lawson.

“This mine has been built in line with the budget and largely on schedule through a global pandemic. The Segilola mine is a high-grade, open pit mine that has a projected life of mine all-in sustaining cost of $685 per ounce providing strong cash flows over the life of mine.”