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Community / Land projects / GEF GOLD+ in Nigeria: Enhancing the formalization and mercury-free gold in Nigeria

GEF GOLD+ in Nigeria: Enhancing the formalization and mercury-free gold in Nigeria


01/23 - 01/23


This project is part of


To reduce the use of mercury in the ASGM sector in Nigeria through a holistic, multi-sectoral integrated formalization approach, and increasing access to finance leading to adoption of sustainable mercury-free technologies and access to traceable gold supply chains.


Note: Disbursement data provided is cumulative and covers disbursement made by the project Agency.

Target Groups

264. Mercury reduction is the project's main objective and key benefit for both the environment and human health. Considering that Nigeria is currently one of the main mercury-importing hubs where the use of this chemical is high, the contribution of the project in terms of global environmental benefits will be significant as well as the contribution to the country’s obligations under the Minamata Convention on Mercury.265.In addition, several socioeconomic benefits are anticipated under the GEF Gold+ Project in Nigeria, these socioeconomic benefits are envisaged to positively impact at national, state and local government levels.266.At the national level, the potential socio-economic benefits will include: · Sales of processed gold at internationally obtainable prices and an improvement in the quality of gold produced in the participating states due to uptake of mercury-free technologies and institutionalization of leaching plants which will ensure efficient and environmentally safe management of tailings.· Improved opportunities for Nigeria to compete in the global gold market especially due to quality assurance of gold processing activities not dependent on mercury use. · Considering that Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa, larger opportunities for foreign investments in the ASGM sector will be created specially based on the enhanced formalization of ASGM, access to finance, uptake of mercury-free technologies amongst mining cooperatives, etc. The fact that the country is adapting to global best practices in ASGM, and strengthening its quality assurance and control processes in the sector present wide short and long-term opportunities for value to the country’s economy, especially its roadmap for economic diversification through improvements in the mineral/mining sector.267. Nigeria is a federation. At the States level, specific socio-economic benefits are to be accounted· Mineral buying centers will be encouraged to purchase gold in higher quantities due to the integrity and quality of gold produced and sold by ASGM cooperatives. Additionally, other individuals and entities may be interested in venturing into gold purchases from ASGM cooperatives due to the improved gold processing systems and envisaged financial benefits associated with the national, regional, and global gold markets. · State governments stand to benefit from revenue, generated through ASGM activities within their state. · Envisaged indirect socioeconomic benefits may be associated with opportunities for state government-assisted vocational training camps, focused on transferring knowledge and skills on ASGM to unskilled persons, groups, and communities. · The elimination or significant reduction in the use of mercury and improper disposal of mercury-contaminated tailings is likely to reduce contamination of major environmental media such as surface and groundwater, soil, and air. Consequently, this tends to contribute to a lower incidence and/or occurrence of endocrine, reproductive and genetic disorders/diseases associated with mercury intoxication in communities within the participating states. · Applicability of SLA/JA which considers the jurisdictional influences of stakeholders within landscapes associated with ASGM or proposed for ASGM pilots under the Child Project.268. Benefits to be considered by the Local Government · Opportunities for improvement in the livelihoods of members of ASGM communities are envisaged. Mainly job creation and cash inflow into communities, creating additional demands and therefore additional business opportunities. In participating states such as Kebbi and Niger states, fishing communities where ASGM activities are likely to be carried out could benefit from the influx of workforce, who will depend on fish as a source of protein. Likewise, in Zamfara state where irrigated rice farming is usually practiced, rice-producing communities are likely to gain from an increase in sales to ASGM cooperatives and groups assigned leasing rights (SSML). · Agricultural communities can supplement low agricultural income in times of drought with mining income thereby improving livelihoods. In the overall, the application of SLA/JA will enable a balance of all these production systems within selected landscapes. · Better accountable stakeholder engagement which identifies stakeholder needs, expectations, concerns and suggestions especially at the community level. · SLA/JA pilots will consider stakeholder participation from communities and their roles in the multi-stakeholder platform (MSP). · Environmentally safe ASGM practices consistent with global best practices will improve opportunities for other socioeconomic developments in ASGM communities e.g. petty trading, catering, equipment/PPE sales, food vending, etc.269. The project will promote a scenario in which the ASGM sector can increase its economic incident and impact at the local and national level for the thousands of families that depend primarily, secondarily, or temporarily on this activity. Additional economic gains will be achieved through more efficient technologies and consequent higher gold recovery and responsible supply chains that will ensure access to formal markets and better prices. The economic gains can then translate to social well-being and livelihood security.270. Specific to women miners, the project will improve their access to finance, savings, and entrepreneurship, which will lead to economic empowerment that contributes to their well-being and their families. Gender mainstreaming activities will reduce gender inequalities among project beneficiaries.271. The transition towards more efficient and/or cleaner recovery technologies and the introduction of better practices will improve the working and living conditions of the miners including women and vulnerable population, leading to a better health for all. Better mining practices will also improve the quality of water, and therefore host communities will have access to cleaner water.272. The miners and communities will increase their skills and knowledge, leading to improved education in mining areas. Furthermore, promoting formalization processes will also allow miners to access social and financial services. Proper development of the ASGM sector can reduce conflicts over land use or linked to environmental pollution. 273.Finally, and in line with the innovative approach followed by the GOLD+ programme, apart from mercury reduction, the project will allow for better land management and proper handling and disposal of mine tailings, which will benefit biodiversity and will make communities more resilient to climate change.