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Experts List Challenges as FG Reassures of Mining Sector Revival



Kayode Fayemi
  • Experts List Challenges as FG Reassures of Mining Sector Revival

Though expectations are high that attempts by the Federal Government to revive mining activities in the country may lift the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 10 per cent in the next five years, but inherent challenges may still foil the dreams.

According to experts at an advocacy roundtable in Lagos, on Tuesday, organised by the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) to discuss “Harnessing the Opportunities in Mines and Steel Development- The Role of the Private Sector,” the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development must not fail to act amply.

The Partner, Energy and Natural Resources Group, Tax, Regulatory and People Services, Ayo Luqman Salami, said the sector might not attract necessary investments that would lead to desired growth, as the roadmap did not really factor interest of private players.

Statistics show that Nigeria is blessed with about 44 varieties of minerals spread across over 500 locations in the country, but the contribution of the mining sector to the GDP remains at about 0.46 per cent.

Still, the Senior Associate, Banwo and Ighodalo, Isa Alade, said funding, mining security, dearth of infrastructure, unsustainable mining practices, inadequate geo-science data, inadequate skill and manpower among other challenges still persist in the sector.

Deputy President, NBCC, Akin Olawore said urged government to come out with steady policies that would create enabling environment for the private sector to invest more in mining sector, ensure transparency, accountability and monitoring of compliance with mining laws and regulations.

This would enable the sector create more jobs and wealth for the country and drive diversification of Nigerian economy, Olawore added. He said: “May I also note the current government’s aversion to the private sectors role and contribution to the Nation’s Economic team policies as unproductive and unsustainable.”

But the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi, was optimistic that a new roadmap for the growth and development of the sector, which was endorsed by the Federal Executive Council and African Development Bank (AfDB) recently would tackle the assessed key challenges and move Nigeria from a mineral rich country to a mining hub.

Fayemi disclosed that plans are underway to boost capacities in the sector, address policy challenges, ease pain of doing business, partner with necessary stakeholders and agencies and offer necessary support to “serious players.

“We are committed to executing our vision of repositioning the Mining sector to play an increasingly prominent role in revenue generation and jobs creation. I must however warn that the mining sector is one that requires a lot of patience.”

“We need the private sector to contribute to the actualisation of our Mining Sector Roadmap by participating in making new investments into the sector, and growing existing ones, while encouraging your members to play a part in creating an enviable mining ecosystem that would deliver shared value for us all,” he said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Gold Prices Rise as Soft Dollar Supports Safe-haven Appeal



gold bars - Investors King

Gold prices firmed on Monday, propped up by a subdued dollar and slight retreat in the U.S. Treasury yields, with investors gearing up for a week of speeches from U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers for cues on the central bank’s rate hike path.

Spot gold was up 0.5% at $1,759.06 per ounce, as of 0400 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.4% at $1,759.00.

While the dollar index softened, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yields eased after hitting their highest since early-July. A weaker dollar offered support to gold prices, making bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies.

“Gold is still looking slightly precarious where it is right now, and it’s probably bouncing off key technical level around $1,750,” IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda said.

“Gold remains an yield story and that yield story is very much tied back to the tapering story.”

A slew of Fed officials are due to speak this week including Chairman Jerome Powell, who will testify this week before Congress on the central bank’s policy response to the pandemic.

“There’ll be a lot of questions being put to Fed speakers about what the dot plots implied last week and weather there is higher risk of heightened inflation going forward and that rate hikes could be coming in the first half of 2022,” Rodda added.

A pair of Federal Reserve policymakers said on Friday they felt the U.S. economy is already in good enough shape for the central bank to begin to withdraw support for the economy.

Gold is often considered a hedge against higher inflation, but a Fed rate hike would increase the opportunity cost of holding gold, which pays no interest.

Investors also kept a close watch on developments in debt-laden property giant China Evergrande saga as the firm missed a payment on offshore bonds last week, with further payment due this week.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, increased 0.1% to 993.52 tonnes on Friday from 992.65 tonnes in the prior session.

Silver rose 0.9% to $22.61 per ounce.

Platinum climbed 1.3% to $994.91, while palladium gained 0.7% to $1,985.32.

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Crude Oil

Brent Crude Oil Near $80 Per Barrel Amid Supply Constraints



Brent crude oil - Investors King

Oil prices rose for a fifth straight day on Monday with Brent heading for $80 amid supply concerns as parts of the world sees demand pick up with the easing of pandemic conditions.

Brent crude was up $1.14 or 1.5% at $79.23 a barrel by 0208 GMT, having risen a third consecutive week through Friday. U.S. Oil added $1.11 or 1.5% to $75.09, its highest since July, after rising for a fifth straight week last week.

“Supply tightness continues to draw on inventories across all regions,” ANZ Research said in a note.

Rising gas prices as also helping drive oil higher as the liquid becomes relatively cheaper for power generation, ANZ analysts said in the note.

Caught short by the demand rebound, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, known as OPEC+, have had difficulty raising output as under-investment or maintenance delays persist from the pandemic.

China’s first public sale of state oil reserves has barely acted to cap gains as PetroChina and Hengli Petrochemical bought four cargoes totalling about 4.43 million barrels.

India’s oil imports hit a three-month peak in August, rebounding from nearly one-year lows reached in July, as refiners in the second-biggest importer of crude stocked up in anticipation of higher demand.

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Crude Oil

Oil Holds Near Highest Since 2018 With Global Markets Tightening



Crude Oil - Investors King

Oil held steady near the highest close since 2018, with the global energy crunch set to increase demand for crude as stockpiles fall from the U.S. to China.

Futures in London headed for a third weekly gain. Global onshore crude stocks sank by almost 21 million barrels last week, led by China, according to data analytics firm Kayrros, while U.S. inventories are near a three-year low. The surge in natural gas prices is expected to force some consumers to switch to oil, tightening the market further ahead of the northern hemisphere winter.

China on Friday sold oil to Hengli Petrochemical Co. and a unit of PetroChina Co. in the first auction of crude from its strategic reserves said traders with the knowledge of the matter. Grades sold included Oman, Upper Zakum and Forties.

Oil has rallied recently after a period of Covid-induced demand uncertainty, with some of the world’s largest traders and banks predicting prices may climb further amid the energy crisis. Global crude consumption could rise by an additional 370,000 barrels a day if natural gas costs stay high, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

“Underpinning the latest bout of price strength is a tightening supply backdrop,” said Stephen Brennock, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd.

Various underlying oil market gauges are also pointing to a strengthening market. The key spread between Brent futures for December and a year later is near $7, the strongest since 2019. That’s a sign traders are positive about the market outlook.

At the same time, the premium options traders are paying for bearish put options is the smallest since January 2020, another indication that traders are less concerned about a pullback in prices.

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