Abdulkadir Muazu, the permanent secretary, federal ministry of mines and steel development, has said government has invested about N14 billion in mineral exploration across the country.
Muazu spoke at a stakeholders’ workshop of the national integrated minerals exploration project (NIMEP) in Abuja.
“One of the constraints identified that seems to be scaring away investors is the issue of quality geoscience data. It is in view of that fact that government is investing about N14 billion to undertake an unprecedented national integrated mineral exploration project for some specific selected minerals,” he said.
The permanent secretary said the world was moving towards low carbon energy, hence there were specific strategic minerals that the country should be looking for, such as lithium, cobalt (battery minerals) to remain competitive in the sector.
In his welcome address, Abdulrazaq Garba, director-general of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, said the project was part of government’s desire to generate geoscience data/information in Nigeria, so as to enable more investors come into the mining sector of the country.
George Van Der Walt, the senior exploration geologist/project manager, RapidLink Resources Ltd, said they had seen great mineral potential in Nigeria, adding that it was time for the government to test that further with some drilling work.
“We have looked countrywide in the project areas; we narrow in on them to make certain that we can identify the best mineralization and make them potential for investment in the sector,” Walt said.
Exploration geologist and former president, Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), Prof Silas Dada, said with this project, the mineral potential of the country would be known and various areas of investment and degrees of investment would be mapped out for investors to choose from.