Caption: PW Nigeria team photograph at the Macy lead and zinc project.
Exclusive interview with Chris McQuillan, Mining Director at PW Nigeria, the gold sponsors for the upcoming Nigeria Mining Week Digital Event from 12-16 October.
Which exciting projects in Nigeria is PW Nigeria involved with at the moment?
PW Nigeria Ltd ( PWN) is currently involved in several pioneering mining projects in Nigeria which include exploration, large scale mining, mine plan design and drilling and exploration. The main projects include:
Chris McQuillan, Mining Director at PW Nigeria.
PWN has secured substantial investment from a consortium of Irish-Canadian mining investors on 3 gold targets in Niger
state. The investment will be used for further exploration of these targets in the form of geo-chemistry, aero magnetics, reverse circulation drilling, diamond drilling and certified analysis.
We are currently operating two mine sites for the cement production giant, Lafarge. The first is the Lafarge Ashaka overburden project for the extraction of 3.2m BCM of overburden annually. The second is the Ewekoro quarry project, which involves the removal of 500,000 BCM of overburden to expose limestone, the drill, and blast, load and haul and ROM refeed of 3.5m tonnes of limestone annually.
PWN has recently also commenced mining activities for the BUA Group at their Okpella mine in Edo state. The project consists of overburden removal, drill and blast, load and haul, stockpile maintenance and crusher feed. The project will see the removal of 450,000 BCM of overburden, 1.9m tonnes of intrusive granite and the delivery of 3m tonnes of limestone to the crusher.
Has COVID-19 affected these operations?
The COVID-19 pandemic compelled us to close many of our operations due the obvious health and safety issues and also assist the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus, throughout April-July. These closures were done in a strategic manner to best allow our clients to implement their own policies and closure processes.
Since reopening in July we have adopted the new Federal Government guidelines with regard to our profession with regards to maintaining social distancing measures and putting preventative measures in place to safe guard our staff and clients.
At the moment the situation is very fluid but due to our size and flexibility we can react very quickly to unforeseen changes.
In your view, has the mining sector improved its use of digital, robotics and other technologies as a result of lockdown, travel bans etc?
Yes, the mining sector has benefited from greater use of webinars to deliver many updates to the sector. Being based in Nigeria not all events can be attended, greater use of digitally formatted events make it possible to attend important sessions.
Any other lessons you have learnt in the course of this pandemic?
PWN has developed its standard methods of business to take advantage of the technological and communication advances now available in Nigeria. Where possible we now execute more tasks remotely thereby allowing our staff to focus on being productive.
Your view of Nigeria as a mining investment destination?
Nigeria’s mining sector remains largely untapped. We recently spent some time in the British geological survey reviewing mining records for the region, which dated back to the early 1900s. There was a lot of enthusiasm over several decades, which faded with the advent of the discovery of oil. Our aim is to reignite this enthusiasm and bring the sector back to life.
Why the decision to join us as a gold sponsor for Nigeria Mining Week the Digital Event in October?
PWN has been sponsoring the event since it began and we believe the Nigeria mining week is the premier mining event in Nigeria. The show continues to grow and attract the attendees from all aspects of the mining world. Now in a digital format it remains as crucial to the Nigerian Mining sector as ever.
What are you most looking forward to at the event?
The digital event may attract some interesting parties that may not have travelled to Nigeria if the event was held in the usual format. This in turn may help generate further focus to the Nigerian mining sector from some of the larger players.
Anything you would like to add?
The majority shareholding in PWN was recently acquired by the BUA group on 23 March 2020. The BUA group are one of the largest groups on the Nigerian stock exchange and is a perfect fit for PWN with its strong capital base, quarrying possibilities and its commitment to improve infrastructure in Nigeria. With their help and support PWN will be able to advance its mining portfolio.
PHOTOGRAPHS AND CAPTIONS COURTESY OF PW NIGERIA:
Aerial shot of the Macy pit looking north
Safe trenching operations at the Mint prospect
Geologists training in down the hole survey tool
Geologists daily briefing at the Dagma drill site
Core logging at the Dagma Pit
Rock breaker in action at the Macy pit, pre-explosives permit being granted.