The Nigerian government has placed Lithium (the key component for making batteries in electric vehicles), as one of its priority minerals for exports, and expanding Nigeria’s mining sector.
FG stated that, along with Lithium, it will prioritise six other minerals, including Coal, Bitumen, Limestone, Iron Ore, Barites, Gold, Lead/Zinc Ore, and Lithium.
This was disclosed by Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki on Wednesday in Abuja, at the Nigerian Society of Mining Engineers 21st Annual General Meeting.
What she said:
The Minister stated that Nigeria’s Mining Ministry is working to transform the Nigeria Minerals and Metals sector into an irresistible mining destination for global capital, attracting foreign direct investments to grow the sector to optimum level.
She said that the Ministry’s confidence in the realisation of the above vision is predicated on Nigeria’s position as one of the largest economies in Africa.
News continues after this ad
“With a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 514.05 dollars, a population of over 213 million people, over 57 percent economically active population is endowed with over 44 different minerals resources in commercial quantities,”
“Streamlining application processes and significantly increasing private sector investment in mining,
“Ensuring orderly and efficient mining of the seven priority minerals in the mining roadmap (Coal, Bitumen, Limestone, Iron Ore, Barites, Gold and Lead/Zinc Ore and now Lithium)
News continues after this ad
“Strengthening collaboration with State governments and relevant security agencies to ensure sustainable security and safety of mining areas.”
She added that other incentives by the Ministry include, improving the investment climate for mining activities, stamping out illegal mining and formalising artisanal and small-scale mining activities across the country, and collaboration with the private sector to create a large number of well-paying jobs for Nigerian youths.
The Minister also stated that President Muhammadu the Buhari administration has targeted mining in the diversification agenda, with a target of a five percent contribution to GDP, and creating an industry worth $27 billion.
FG stated that it has started pursuing some critical initiatives for the promotion of mining activities in Nigeria, including bitumen block auctioning initiative, barite mining and processing, and bulk mineral haulage, and mineral buying centre operations in Nigeria.
“As members of the global mining community, we must put in place the necessary framework in line with international best practice to promote sustainable mining in Nigeria.
“The available record of about 1,700 abandoned mine sites as at 2020 with more than 700 in Plateau alone speaks volume about sustainable mining in Nigeria,” she added.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported in August that The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated in a report that Nigeria’s mineral production grew by 39.19% in 2021, from 64.29 million tons recorded in 2020 to 89.48 million tons in 2021.
The report added that the most mined mineral in Nigeria remains Granite at 22.3 million tons. Granite is among the four most mined minerals. The others are laterite at 7.3 million tonnes; limestone at 44.7 million tonnes and sand, at 1.6 million tonnes.
Last month, the Miners Association of Nigeria called on the Nigerian Government to check the activities of Chinese miners “scavenging” for Lithium.
They said: “Chinese are moving from one mining site to the other, scavenging and mopping our raw lithium mineral at a cheap rate to develop their industries and economy.
“This is not good for the future of our economy; what this means is that Nigeria will end up buying electric batteries from them.