Indonesian state-owned tin miner PT has signed a joint venture (JV) agreement with -based Topwide Ventures Limited with the intention of developing a tin mining site in the African country.

The two companies intend to jointly conduct a feasibility study, geological mapping and exploration drilling in the country with a joint venture company to be set up to manage exploration activities, mining operations, processing and refining processes, shipment, sales and marketing of tin and its derivatives in Nigeria. The JV Company has access to a 16,000-hectare mining concession and an initial aim to develop operations with an annual production capacity of some 5,000 tonnes of tin ingot, with a target to begin construction of the necessary facilities and infrastructure in 2018.

President Director of PT Timah, M Riza Pahlevi, stated, “Hopefully this cooperation can provide benefits, not only to the two companies, but also to Indonesia and Nigeria as countries.”

ITRI View: PT Timah’s investment in Nigeria demonstrates the company’s intention to expand its tin business internationally. Long-term rising costs, depleting tin resources and falling tin production in Indonesia are in contrast to the expansion of Nigeria’s tin mine output, which totalled 2,900 tonnes in 2016 but could increase to more than 6,000 tonnes this year based on the latest available trade data. The JV is likely to see strong support from the Nigerian government which is keen to expand the country’s mining sector following the decline in revenues from its oil industry. According to the Nigerian Mining Ministry, US$150 million from the World Bank and tax incentives are available to help industrial players in the sector. Funding has also been set aside to try and formalise widespread artisanal and small-scale mining in the country.