The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, has said that 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, International Convention, Trade Show and Investors Exchange in Canada.
A copy of the speech, which is titled ‘The Mechanisms of Transparency and Commitment in Mining Governance as Tool for Attracting Foreign Direct Investment to Nigeria’, was obtained by our correspondent.
According to the minister, 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.
He said these minerals broadly cut across the various mineral spectrums, with these deposits categorised into five groups according to their uses.
Some of the minerals include baryte, kaolin, gypsum, feldspar, limestone, coal, bitumen, lignite, uranium, gold, cassiterite, columbite, iron ore, lead-zinc, copper, granite, laterite, sapphire, tourmaline, emerald, topaz, amethyst, garnet, among others.
The minister said, “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 among others.
“Nigeria provides one of the highest rates of return because its minerals are closer to the surface.”
He further said that the first phase of mineral exploration project which was the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Programme, designed to rapidly generate bankable geoscientific data had been completed.
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 Centre at the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency. 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 aim of the review is to bring legislation into conformity with global best practices, limiting the role of to that of regulation and creating space for the private sector to maintain a more expansive presence in the sector.”