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MOSRA ENERGY LTD INTERVIEW: “We have a huge capacity and are looking for potential partners in terms of off-takers for the local and export markets”

Exclusive interview with Olukayode Ramos, MD of Mosra Energy Ltd., a platinum sponsor for the upcoming Nigeria Mining Week from 16–18 October in Abuja.

Welcome to Nigeria Mining Week 2023! Can we start with a quick background of the company and your offering?

Mosra Energy Limited is a coal mining company based in Nigeria, and we are particularly focused on coal mining, iron ore and limestone. We have about a dozen years of industry experience, and we are a reliable partner and source for critical minerals. Presently, we have two coal mines. One is in Kogi State, named Tunde Ramos Coal Mines. It produces about 50,000 tonnes of coal every month. Then, we also have a second mine based in Delta State, called Idowu Falola Coal Mines that produces about 20,000 tonnes of coal every month.

We have a huge capacity and we are looking for potential partners in terms of off-takers. We are looking for customers, for both the local market and as well as for the export market. Nigeria Mining Week is a fantastic event for us to attend, and we are very much looking forward to our participation in this event.

How important is the mining sector for the future of Nigeria’s economy in your view? What is your vision

The mining sector is absolutely key for the future of Nigeria’s economy. All over the world, a lot of the governments that have minerals resources, like Nigeria, the US, Australia and Canada, actively encourage industrialists to develop the sector. It is not the government’s responsibility to develop the mining sector, it is the responsibility of investors.

In the words of Andrew Carnegie, “iron ore is the backbone of modern civilization and steel is its bleeding heart, from foundations to roads, towering skyscrapers, vehicles we drive, railroads, roads and bridges, power plants, everything that we manufacture. Iron ore and coal have shaped the world we know. We cannot deny the importance of coal in power in industrial growth and providing energy security.”

We shall continue these efforts.

What are the particular challenges in Nigeria and the region?

The most important challenge that we face in the mining sector in Nigeria is finance. The interest rate is very, very high in this part of the world. Now, the banks are looking at between 28 to 33% interest rate and that’s quite challenging.
The government has decided to look at the sector, and we believe that based on the pronouncements of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the current Minister of Solid Minerals, Chief Dele Alake, that the government is going to look into the issue of finance and other issues.

Is the Nigerian government doing the right things to attract investment and exploitation of the country’s mineral wealth?

Yes, the government of Nigeria is doing the right things at this time to attract investment into the mineral resources of Nigeria. The Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, of recent gave a press interview where he announced that the Government has come up with a transformation agenda:

1) That they are going to establish a Nigerian Solid Minerals Corporation.
2) Joint ventures with mining multinationals.
3) Big data on specific minerals and their deposits.
4) 30-day grace period for illegal miners to evacuate wherever they are conducting illegal mining.
5) Mine surveillance tax force and mine police.
6) The establishment of six mineral processing centres to focus on value-added products.

At this point, the Government of Nigeria is focusing on seven critical minerals, which include coal, iron ore, limestone, lead, zinc, barite, and bitumen. With all these pronouncements that the Government has made through the Minister of Solid Minerals, Chief Dele Alake, I strongly believe that the government is on the right path and doing the right things to attract investment and exploiting the country’s mineral wealth.

Any new projects in Nigeria that you are particularly excited about currently?

We’re particularly excited about our coal power plants, for which we recently, in May 2023, did the groundbreaking and laid the foundations. The coal power plant is located in Ugboba, Delta State. We’re very, very excited about this project. We believe that if we’re able to provide electricity from coal, that will be a big plus for the infrastructure of Nigeria, especially when you consider the fact that Nigeria does not have any base electricity at this point in time.

Where are you focusing for future growth?

Still the same thing we are focusing on: the power generation from coal. That’s what we are focusing on for the future growth of our business.

What will be your message at the upcoming Nigeria Mining Week?

Our message is to capitalise on Nigeria’s mineral resources at this premier event shaping the country’s mining landscape.

Nigeria Mining Week is a fantastic platform for us and other industrialists to showcase our products and also for the Nigerian Government to showcase what the Government is currently doing to tackle the issues that are confronting miners in Nigeria.

You are a platinum sponsor at Nigeria Mining Week. How important is this event on the industry calendar in your view?

Nigeria Mining Week is a very, very important event for us because it gives us and other miners the opportunity to talk about our industry. And then also, to talk about what we as miners can contribute to the development of the Nigerian economy. Nigeria is an import-driven country. Everything is imported into Nigeria, even all our energy resources: diesel, PMS, everything is imported. And Nigeria has huge mineral resources to produce all these energy sources. So, we’re going to talk more and more about import substitution so that Nigeria can develop its mineral sources to remove the dependence on imported energy sources.

Anything you would like to add?

I’d like to add that people should come and attend this event. It’s worth it to come over to Nigeria, to Abuja, and attend these events to participate and hear us out and see how we can all partner together to invest in Nigeria.

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