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Mines minister seeks funding to drive exploration

By Ernest Nzor, Abuja
17 October 2021   |   4:06 am
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, is seeking more funding to drive exploration activities in the Nigerian mining sector to de-risk the sector.

Olamilekan Adegbite is Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals and Steel Development

 FG To Launch Barites

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, is seeking more funding to drive exploration activities in the Nigerian mining sector to de-risk the sector.

He said Federal Government had concluded plans to launch its locally made barite on October 28, as part of efforts to promote Nigeria barites and boost the economy.

Adegbite disclosed this in Abuja, during the presentation of the report on National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP) to the ministry. He noted that the project would attract local and foreign investors into the sector.

He said: “Mining is about data; you can’t do mining without data. It is something that is hidden on the ground. It is important that we engage people and best company that know it to acquire the data for us. And with this, we are de-risking the sector and are able to attract the right investors into the country.

“What we have in Nigeria is artisanal mining. But the kind of technology, equipment and funding required to get mining in the right content is beyond artisanal mining. We need proper investment to develop mining. There is need for sustainability, further escalation and more funding to do exploration.”

The Director-General, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency/NIMEP Chairman, Dr. Abdulrazaq Garba, said exploration contracts were awarded after passing through ministerial and bureau for public procurement screening processes.

He said: “The projects are to generate geosciences information in Greenfield and Brownfield settings through integrated exploration methodologies. It is aimed at spurring the desired investment into the sector, to generate foreign exchange, substitute for import, develop local industries, generate employment, and create wealth along the mineral value chain.

“This project ensured the use of international Competent Persons (CP) in the execution of the contract and also in the consulting team to ensure compliance with international best practices.”

Also, the Technical Director, Mecon Geology and Engineer Services, Chum Offodile, said the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP) is a project designed by Federal Government to carry out an integrated exploration to de-risk the Nigerian mining sector and provide geosciences data, to key into minerals needed for the fourth industrial revolution.  

Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, promised adequate security to all NIMEP contractors, as they continue exploration.