By Francisca Oluyole
Abuja, March 22, 2022 (NAN) Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, says N142.6 million was shared among 14 tertiary institutions in Nigeria to conduct research on mineral deposits.
He said that the sum was shared for the beneficiary institutions for research development in various areas relating to mapping and evaluation of particular mineral deposits.
According to him, the research is in the areas of Mining Engineering, Metallurgy and Mineral Processing, Geological Mapping, Industrial and Minerals Utilisation/Exports and Energy Minerals.
“You will all agree with me that without data, there can be no serious mining activities. Nigeria lacks adequate bankable Geosciences data needed to attract major mining companies to invest in the sector,’’ he said.
According to the minister, the programme which started in 2018 with 12 institutions as the first of its kind by the ministry is about to be finalised for the benefit of the sector.
“The institutions that benefited from these research grants were carefully selected by independent faculty of five erudite professors of proven integrity who contributed to the growth and development of the sector.
“These personalities form the steering committee which on behalf of the ministry, did due diligence of selecting the beneficiaries after careful examination of their proposals.’’
The minister said various topics on which research was conducted and ready for validation include, Geological Mapping and Assessment of Metallic and Industrial Minerals in parts of North Central Nigeria namely FCT, Kaduna, Nasarawa and Niger States.
Others are: Provision of Optimum Blasting Parameters for Auchi-Igara Mineral District and Okene-Auchi Mineral District in Nigeria among others.
According to him, we cannot overemphasise the importance of this validation, as without this event taking place today, the reports will remain a mere academic exercise and the intention will be defeated.
“We believe that at the end of this exercise, the value of these reports will begin to impact positively on the sector.’’
Prof. Gbenga Okunola, the chairman, Committee of Stakeholders Validation, said that the programme was a collaboration between the MMSD and academia to increase the mineral data bank for the benefit of the nation.
The tertiary institutions that participated in the exercise are: Universities of Ibadan, Lagos, Jos, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, and Nasarawa State University of Technology.
The Kaduna State Polytechnic, Kaduna, and Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida University, Lapai among others.