14 April 2014, Abuja – The President of Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), Prof. Clifford Teme, has advised the Federal Government to develop some minerals as a precursor to the development of the mining sector.
He named the minerals as gold, coal, limestone, iron ore, lead/zinc, bitumen and barytes.
Teme said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday that the seven minerals had been found in commercial quantities around the country.
“We have found out that we have enough commercial quantities of the seven minerals; so, we should start exploiting them to boost our revenue earning.
“During my discussion with the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Musa Sada, he gave me the list of these seven minerals.
“The list is on his table; we should first commence the mining of the seven minerals before going into the second phase of the other minerals,’’ he added.
Teme said that private investors had started processes aimed at developing the minerals, adding: “Before we begin mining, we have to isolate the minerals.
“We have to estimate the reserves to ascertain their quantities.”
He said that the Federal Government had prioritised the seven minerals, out of the 44 minerals it had identified across the country.
Teme urged the government to issue mineral titles only to genuine miners who had the technical and financial capacity to carry out mining operations.
He, however, urged miners to refrain from illegal mining activities and engage the services of registered professional geologists, mining engineers and metallurgists in mining operations.
He commended Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) for identifying minerals that abound in commercial quantities and advised it to continue with routine survey in order to discover more minerals.
“We used to have 20 minerals before, it came up to 24, 30, 34 and presently, 44 minerals have been identified in this country,” Teme said.
According to him, the number is growing because the agency’s work is ongoing.
Teme said that very soon, solid minerals would become the mainstay of the national economy while less focus would be on crude oil.
“Minerals are beneath the ground everywhere in Nigeria. Even under your homes, we have minerals. You have clay, sand and everything. So, mining will become the in-thing in Nigeria,’’ he added.
Teme advised miners to always go to NGSA for credible geosciences data to work with during exploration processes.
He said NGSA and other technical partners would soon finish their work in gathering credible data to attract potential investors, adding that many investors were eager to go into mining.
He said the agency had identified the location of every mineral across the country, adding that it was the duty of investors to estimate minerals’ reserves before investing.