Australia’s Kogi plans to spend up to A$14 mln to advance new African cast steel project

Kogi Iron country manager Alabi Samuel at project site in Nigeria. Photo: Supplied by Kogi
Kogi Iron country manager Alabi Samuel at project site in Nigeria. Photo: Supplied by Kogi

JOHANNESBURG, April 14 (ANA) – Australia’s Kogi Iron says it still plans to spend between A$10 million and A$14 million (US$6.4 million and US$9 million) in the next 14 months to advance its new cast steel project in Nigeria despite disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In its latest update, Kogi said the project aims to create industrial diversity for oil-gas reliant Nigeria.

Last month Kogi said it was proceeding with raising capital for the project despite the negative impact of the coronavirus epidemic on markets.

In the update released on Tuesday, the company said it had acted early and strongly to reinforce its operating guidelines to mitigate risks to staff, contractors and the community by adhering to Nigerian government advice and directives.

It had restricted local, domestic and international travel, practiced physical distancing at meetings and general activities, increased personal hygiene, effected self-isolation for those showing any illness symptoms and used electronic communication wherever possible.

The overall impact of the coronavirus on its operations in Nigeria included the closure of government offices and the mines department in the capital Abuja and travel being limited to Kogi state.

“Due to market volatility, the company has taken prudent fiscal measures to ensure security of our assets and preserve our cash balance,” Kogi said.

It said it had deferred current fundraising for the feasibility study for the project, stopped all non-discretionary expenditure, reduced or deferred fees for directors, contractors, and consultants and was moving its administration, secretarial functions and registered office to Adelaide from May 1.

The latest data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that as of Monday night, the West African country had 343 confirmed cases of Covid-19, which has rapidly spread around the world since being first reported in China last December.

The NCDC said 10 people have died in Nigeria, while 91 patients had been discharged.

– African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa

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