Pedmacgrek Mines Limited is one of the major companies vigorously pursuing the development of Nigeria's lead and zinc resources. Mining activities began in its sites located at Ishiagu and Abakaliki in Ebonyi State in 1988. Both Ishiagu and Abakaliki lie within the Benue Trough, which is the nation's rich lead/zinc belt and is host to a number of mining companies engaged in the exploitation of lead/zinc ores as well as stone quarrying as primary producers. Indeed the presence of viable deposits of lead and zinc in the Ishiagu and Abakaliki district areas of Nigeria was established as far back as 1905; a fact verified and assessed by the Geological Survey of Nigeria and the then Mineral Survey of Southern Nigeria respectively. Records confirm that by the early 1960s crude exploitation of lead and zinc ores had commenced by artisan's miners.
Pedmacgrek's lead/zinc properties in the Ishiagu and Abakaliki axis habour proven reserves that can sustain an annual export of between 8,000 10,000 metric tons for a period of 20 years.
Pedmacgrek Mines Ltd is also engaged in the quarry business. It has a major quarry in Ibadan, Oyo State. This quarry is the first in a series of quarries the company plans to set up in the various geo-political zones of Nigeria.
All Minerals Processing Company (AMPCO) is focused on adding value to mined raw minerals via beneficiation.
Mine Safety and Environment
In the mining industry, the environmental issues associated with the establishment of mines and mineral processing plants have assumed a concern of global proportions.
At every stage environmental considerations are a major priority. It is therefore essential to carry out a careful assessment of all the environmental implications relating to a mining to project by balancing the viewpoints held by industry, government agencies as well as those of the natives of the area where the mine is situated.
This usually entails commissioning experts to do a study of the environmental control problems associated withy over burden stripping/disposal, mine dewatering, etc. The level of mechanization and caliber of personnel are contributing factors to the achievement of the company.
Pedmacgrek has a good maintenance culture hence most of her equipment remains functional. The company is currently making concerted efforts to boost mineral production at her Ajirija lease (ML 1009). Plans have also been concluded to commence work on Ajirija Lease (ML 17382).
Geological investigations at the Nkpume - Akaokuk leases will be concluded this year. The company is presently working out a scheme that would enable her offer such services, as well as contract mining schemes to other operators or government agencies.
Community development projects range from the construction of roads and bridges to the provision of electricity and portable water. They also and include academic scholarship awards to natives and an obligatory participation in any other project being embarked upon by any of the various progressive and development unions within the community. Since the commencement of its mining activities in 1988, Pedmacgrek has been involved in various community development projects within the host communities of its mining operations.
Some of these projects include:
- provision of portable water through the sinking of boreholes
- contribution to the rural electrification scheme
- construction of farm roads
- construction of bridges and maintenance of existing road network within the community
- the award of scholarships, and provision for skill acquisition
- programmes for the available work-force among the indigenes of host communities
Finance & Obligations Personnel & Marketing Safety & Enviroment Community Development
In order to perfect any mining lease holding in Nigeria, a political report; a document confirming the consent of the natives to the exploitation of the mineral resources found in their community, must be obtained by the prospective mining concern. The issuance of a political report, by natives, is usually conditional upon the acceptance by the prospective miner to fulfill certain immediate obligations and also be involved in various community development projects individually as well as collectively throughout the duration of mining lease.
Immediate obligations could be in the form of payment of a considerable amount of money to the natives as goodwill gesture, or any other form of gratification as demanded by the natives. This however does not preclude the regular payment of “disturbance rent” and other ancillary monthly or quarterly charges a well as the unavoidable public relation expenses regularly carried out within the community of the natives.
The Company has in its employment seasoned and qualified professionals in different field, this includes; geologist, mining engineers, mechanical, production and civil engineers, surveyors, economists and accountants. The company also engages the services of reputable consulting firms especially in the area of exploration.
The Project Director is a qualified civil engineer with a post-graduate training in mining engineering and over 10 years of cognate experience (in mining). The Company’s board is made up of professionals, men and women of proven integrity.
The processing of ores is presently carried out by hand sorting and primary/secondary crushing with mechanized crushers. This is a slow and labour intensive process. The company also services the local requirement of galena lumps (lead sulphide of above 80% lead content). These are packed in 28kg. Bags and sales are usually in lots of 600 bags representing a truck load. However at about 2000 tons a year, the local requirement for galena lumps remains a relatively insignificant market.
Consequently, Pedmacgrek Mines has continued to seek for reputable international export market for bulk crushed lead/zinc ores. The difficulty inherent in the export market for unfloated material has given rise to the company’ decision to embark on a forward-integration project planned for the establishment of a lead /zinc concentrating plant.