Hope brightens for Nigeria as 2 more NIMEP reports indicate high mineralisation

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Hope brightens for Nigeria as 2 more NIMEP reports indicate high mineralisation

Nigeria’s hope of becoming a mining destination received a boost on Thursday as the exploration reports of two companies engaged under the Nigerian Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP) showed that the country is very rich in mineralisation, especially in the Benue trough.

This is coming after two other contracted exploration companies that had completed their works gave account to the ministry in October showing that showing that are several prospective mineralisation spots in various parts of the country.

The presentation of reports was sequel N15 billion approved in 2017 by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD) to de-risk the mining sector by ascertaining which minerals occur, where they occur within the country’s land space, and whether they are in commercial quantities or not so that there would be bankable data that would boost investors’ confidence to invest in the sector. Thereafter, five exploration firms were contracted, out of which the four have completed their beats and have presented reports accordingly, remaining the last one.

Speaking after the presentations, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite expressed satisfaction with the reports so far presented, describing the results as “fantastic”.

Urging that President Buhari needed commendation, having made history by being the first Nigeria leader to consider releasing such money for the development of the sector, Adegbite said, “Mining is all about data. You are never sure of what is beneath the ground and at what quantity. That is the risk. Of course, it is a high risk because you need to find out this fact which is data generated.

“This was a well thought project and the results are fantastic. The data are coming in and it tells us that we are very rich in mineralisation and the next phase is for us to market this so that it can bring in investors, yield revenue and create jobs for our people.

“So we have received two reports earlier in October and two today, and have just one outstanding after which the project will be closed. We can now take the report in less technical format to the council that the money granted in 2017 has been judiciously expended and this is the result and then we will ask for more finance.”

“Because we have only covered a very small fraction of the country with this kind of fund. Exploration is a very expensive project. The money given has been wells spent but only covered a fraction. We can discover more and that will enhance the sector and attract more investors.”

The Chairman, NIMEP and Director-General, Nigerian Geological  Survey Agency (NGSA), Abdulrazaq Garba, disclosed that 133 prospective spots had been identified, around the Benue Trough and other parts of the country to be rich in mineralisation of key minerals including lead, zink, lithium among a few others.

Garba who while speaking shortly before the presentations explained thus, “Exploration is about looking for data and not a means to an end. What we are saying now is that from the results we are getting, if we are able to identify areas that are open at the mining cadastral, government can carve out these areas and put it up for good investors to come and invest.

“Where they are not open and you have lot of licenses in those areas, then government should encourage the owners of these licenses to partner with investors, mining companies to develop these licenses and take it up”.

Hope brightens for Nigeria as 2 more NIMEP reports indicate high mineralisation

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