Nigeria urged to exploit 44 varieties of minerals in over 500 locations



To shore up revenue in the wake of falling global crude oil, the federal government has been urged to focus on the development of the solid minerals sector, which boasts of “44 varieties of minerals in over 500 locations.”

In a recent statement, organisers of the iPAD Nigeria Mining Forum, billed to hold in Abuja in November, made this charge, stating that the parley is a long overdue strategic investment platform that will gather key players in the Nigerian mining space to discuss the way forward.

The organisers include Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, Spintelligent, the African office of UK-based Clarion Events Limited and Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) Nigeria.

Commenting on the event, Mining Sector Leader and Head Consulting at PwC Nigeria, Cyril Azobu, said: “The reduction in global crude oil prices has highlighted the need for Nigeria tom diversify its revenue base. We hold strongly that one key sector that offers great potentials in achieving this is the solid minerals sector.”

For the event director, Nicole Smith, the new government has a strong desire to exploit Nigeria’s vastly underexplored natural resources, which include about 44 varieties of minerals in over 500 locations and iPAD Nigeria will initiate and fast-track a new mineral sector reform roadmap that encourages innovative business ventures and supports partnership opportunities.

According to them: “The North central, Northeast and Northwest regions are known to have some of the major mineral deposits, but mining activities have dwindled due to terrorism and civil unrest. The solid minerals sector has been targeted by the previous administration to contribute five per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2015 and 10 per cent by 2020.

“It is estimated that 80 to 85 per cent of mining activities in Nigeria is artisanal and small scale. Most mines in Nigeria are typical green fields, in exploratory stage. Nigeria is becoming a major regional and global producer of aluminum and steel products with a target of 100,000 tonnes of primary aluminium per year and three million tonnes product by 2015.”

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