ASX-listed Kogi Iron and its Nigerian subsidiary KCM Mining have started small-scale trial mining at the Agbaja Cast Steel project, in Nigeria.
The companies have appointed a local Lokoja-based civil engineering contractor to start the trial mining on a 30 m by 30 m by 5 m deep pit, owing to restricted availability of local officials for site sign-off on approvals, amid measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Lockdown of the federal capital, Abuja, has restricted business to within the Kogi state, while the Nigerian Mines Department is closed.
However, Kogi says that online administration has been successful to obtain government support and approvals.
The trial pit and stockpiles of overburden and iron-ore will be used for ore characterisation tests to support iron-ore reserve estimates and mining and beneficiation studies in the project’s feasibility study.
Kogi says the scope of work, completion schedules, costs and decision trees for key consultant groups have been revised and/or staged to enable progress on the feasibility study as early as possible, subject to funding.
Currently, Kogi is hosting one-on-one presentations with potential new investors, as well as using online funding platforms to progress funding finalisation for the project.
Additionally, Kogi plans to raise $8-million, or A$12-million, for the feasibility study over the next few months or as equity markets show signs of recovery.
“Covid-19 has challenged us all and remains a threat to society and business. Based on prudent measures and actions, I am confident that the company is now positioned to weather the immediate Covid-19 storm and to emerge to grow our cast steel business in Nigeria.
“It is especially pleasing that, under clear local management guidance and policies, our activities in Nigeria have progressed on small-scale trial mining with no direct Covid-19 impacts to staff, contractors and the community,” says Kogi chairperson Greg Boulton.