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To strengthen West Africa’s gold value chain, as well as enable relevant policies and market infrastructure for the commodity’s ecosystem, stakeholders have concluded plans to position Nigeria as a player through the first gold conference in the region.

Themed: “Gold West Africa” conference, the event seeks to among other things, promote a strong West African public and private sector lobby around gold, put the region top of mind in gold mining and refining as well as spur economic growth for countries with gold deposits.

Scheduled for June 25-26, the Managing Director of Kain Smith Trade & Co Limited, Mrs. Nere Teriba, said the Nigerian narrative on gold is advancing from “gold exploration and mining to gold market and economy.”She said: “The Gold West Africa Conference is focused on developing the gold value chain in the region towards establishing West Africa as a gold market centre.

“The development of the gold value chain in Nigeria has strong dependencies on gold, trade and monetary policies across ECOWAS and the geographical region of Sub-Saharan Africa.“Economic & Sustainable solutions towards artisanal gold mining, trading, refining and creating gold products and markets can only be achieved when public and private stakeholders in the gold sector of West Africa jointly create the eco-system for the gold economy to thrive above ground.”

The co-host, of the conference, Kolade Apata, said: “For the folks who are fortunate enough to attend the conference, they will quickly realise the investment opportunities available with the launch of the Gold Refinery. For example, Nigeria could easily become the jewelry and gold trading hub in West Africa.

“The structure could serve as a template for other minerals like cobalt, copper. While this conference will serve as a good start for the right conversations, we are sincerely hoping it leads to implementation of the ideas generated. If executed properly, we are certain some of the ideas generated will drive significant growth in the mining sector.”

“The inaugural conference and the launch of the first Gold Refinery in Nigeria should serve as a catalyst for growth in the Nigerian mining industry. Our hope is that the conversations from the conference lead to initiatives and continuous engagement amongst all stakeholders.“We will do our best to ensure we don’t lose momentum by driving future engagements every quarter. We hope other stakeholders have similar commitments after the conference.”