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Nigeria open to collaborate with Belgium for mining development

The government of Nigeria has announced it is open to collaborating with Belgium to further develop the mining sector.

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, made the announcement and said the ministry was making the sector more vibrant by fulfilling its mandate to diversify the economy away from oil, create jobs and raise the revenue profile of the government.

The minister also revealed that the country was also looking towards importing barite to some African countries. The ministry’s recent achievement in the area of local barite production that met the American Petroleum Institute standard would save the country millions of dollars spent on importing barite.

Gold ecosystem 

“Last year we launched the Nigerian barite to show that we can now produce barite that meets the API standard in our country. This will save us millions of dollars spent on importing barite every year, which would also create jobs and lead to skills specialisation in some specific fields. We are also looking at the possibilities of eventually exporting barite to other African countries which would earn our country revenue,” said Adegbite.

He further disclosed to the ambassador that the ministry was creating a viable gold ecosystem in the country, opening up areas for foreign investors to take up stakes in the gold subsector. He noted that a Canadian company, Thor Exploration, had started producing gold in commercial quantities through the Segilola Gold Project in Osun State.

“Nigeria has a lot of gold and we are developing the sector to attract investment into it. Nigeria is not just about oil and gas. We are richly endowed with diverse mineral assets in varying mixes and proven reserves. As we pursue our growth innovations through continued exploration, more mineral types and finds are being discovered. We can confirm that every zone in Nigeria has some minerals to bring to the national table of resource riches. As of today, about 44 minerals have been identified,” said the minister.

 

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