The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, says Nigeria is endowed with quality commercial minerals in over 500 locations across the country.
Adegbite said this in his speech during the Nigerian Day at the 2022 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), International Convention, Trade Show and Investors Exchange in Toronto, Canada on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the speech is titled: ”The Mechanisms of Transparency and Commitment in Mining Governance as Tool for Attracting Foreign Direct Investment to Nigeria’’
According to him, Nigeria is blessed with 44 different types of minerals in commercial quantity in over 500 locations in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He said these minerals broadly cut across the various mineral spectrums, adding that these deposits are categorised into five groups according to their uses.
He said these include: baryte, kaolin, gypsum, feldspar, limestone, and energy minerals such as coal, bitumen, lignite, uranium.
Others are: metallic ore minerals, such as gold, cassiterite, columbite, iron ore, lead-zinc, copper; construction minerals such as granite, laterite and sand
Under precious stones are sapphire, tourmaline, emerald, topaz, amethyst, garnet among others.
“This clearly demonstrates the wide mineral spectrum we are endowed with, which offers limitless opportunities along the value chain, for job creation, revenue growth and others.
“Nigeria provides one of the highest rates of return because its minerals are closer to the surface,” he said.
He said that the first phase of the mineral exploration project which was the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Programme (NIMEP), designed to rapidly generate bankable geoscientific data had been completed.
He said the aim of the project was to de-risk the sector and attract high-calibre investments, adding that target minerals under the first phase include gold, lead zinc, iron ore, and battery minerals, among others.
He said, “The contractors have executed and completed the exploration works on Gold, Platinum Group of Elements (PGEs), Lead-Zinc, Iron Ore and Barites; results on Greenfields and Brownfields are in process to be declared for investment opportunities.”
He said that the Federal Government of Nigeria had in its relentless commitment to the sector provided support by putting up a strong policy and regulatory structure to attract development.
“That robust structure, line by line, is possibly our strongest argument today, for seeking to attract investment into Nigeria.
“Nigeria has been part of this event for several years because of our determination to see exponential growth of the mining sector’s contribution to our GDP more than it has done in the past forty years.
“We are here to collaborate and network with global leaders, professionals, investors, and Chief Executives of junior, mid-tier and major mining companies,” he said.
The minister said that the Federal Government had also commenced the process of retrieving Nigeria’s colonial geological data from the United Kingdom.
He said, “We are engaging the British Geological Survey (BGS) to build a national electronic geo-data archiving management system to be called the Nigerian Geo-Data Center at the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA).
“This will provide easy access to geoscience data for prospective investors on potential areas to target for exploration and mining within and outside Nigeria.
“Currently, there is an ongoing review of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act 2007.
“The aimed of the review is to bring legislation into conformity with global best practices, limiting the role of government to that of regulation and creating space for the private sector to maintain a more expansive presence in the sector.”