The initial fear that the exploration of the high grade nickel discovered at Dangoma village, Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State last year may take a long time has been dispelled.
At the height of the crisis in the southern senatorial district of Kaduna some months back, the state government had imposed curfew on three of the local government areas, including Jema’a, and only lifted it on Wednesday when the state Security Council reviewed the situation.
Due to the crisis and other security issues, many investors pulled out of the area, with the fear that the multi-billion naira investments in ginger, potato and the nickel may be jeopardised.
The state governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai had to caution the people of the area against taking actions that could lead to the loss of jobs and other socio-economic gains expected from such activities.
But last week, Hugh Morgan, the Australian miner who headed the team exploring for gemstones in Kaduna and later discovered the high grade nickel at Dangoma, made good his promise as he returned to the village.
His return brought fresh hopes to the community, that the miners have not abandoned the sites, and that very soon, all the expected benefits would start rolling in.
Morgan, who works in an Australian company, Comet, came with the result of his research into the sample of the nickels the company found last year. He said that after months of study and evaluation with the samples of the mineral deposits, it had been confirmed that the Dangoma nickels was of high grade as indicated by the elementary observation done at the site last year.
He said that based on research, the nickel found at Kagoma was the highest in quality, with 90 per cent high grade, and the first of its kind in the world.
During his visit to the palace of the Tum Nikyob, Mr. Tanko Tete, in Bakin Kogi Kaninkon, and the district head of Dangoma, Mahmuda Sulaiman, Morgan informed the community leaders that the assessment was based on research and several tests. In his reaction, Sulaiman, who informed Daily Trust on Sunday of the visit of the Australian miner, said they were very happy to hear that the nickel found in their land was world class.
“The Comet Mining Industry had spent quite some time doing the survey. They carried the sample with them to Australia, and now, they have come out with the result confirming that the grade of the nickel is more than 90 per cent.
“The government has been battling economic recession and talking about diversification of the economy, especially in the area of solid mineral development. So we thank God for this discovery, which will contribute a lot to the nation’s economy and help in tackling recession,” he said.
Our correspondent also found out that the company agreed on new terms with the landowners. It was gathered that the villagers had, through their leaders, demanded for projects to better the lives of their people.
The district head of Dangoma said, “We have brought our needs before him. We want them to build a hospital and boreholes for us, train our youths in skills, as well as pay compensation to the owners of the land.”
He also revealed that the company had so far provided the community with four boreholes while the Chief of Army Staff built one for them.
Speaking on the progress made so far, the district head said the miners had also committed resources towards expanding the scope of their search since all the preliminary findings turned out to be true.
“The first nickel was found in one farm, but after carrying a very deep survey, they discovered it in so many farms within the area. He told us that they would expand their scope of survey next month,” he said.
The Kaduna State Government also promised to link the community by road to Godogodo-Jagindi and other parts of the state.
The deputy governor of the state, Yusuf Barnabas Bala Bantex had, last month explained that the state government was working hard to create jobs to the people of the state. This action, according to him, will reduce insecurity in the state. He said Governor El-Rufai had directed that Dangoma be flooded with all the necessary facilities.
“We have realised the nexus that exists between unemployment, poverty and deprivation on one hand, and insecurity in the other hand. So we are committed to ensuring the creation of jobs for our youths. We cannot do these by employing people to work in the government, so we are attracting investors to come out with their money. We will assist them with land and give them all the necessary support to establish industries.
“The governor has directed that all the Dangoma area should be flooded with all the necessary roads, health facilities and schools so that we would have an orderly development of the area while mining activities are going on. The miners are also under the directives of the governor, that the youth of the area should be trained as miners who would take over from the white people at the end of the day, so that what is happening in the Niger Delta will not happen here. After 50 years in the Niger Delta we are just thinking about training the youth of the area to be familiar with drilling and other activities in the oil sector. The case has to be different in Kaduna State,” Bantex said.
Also speaking, the district head of Kagoma urged his people to continue to be law-abiding, saying that no developmental projects would succeed without peace.