Besides being one of the major oil producing nations in the world, Nigeria can also boast of the abundance of other mineral deposits such as Talc,Coal, Bitumen, Rock salt, Iron ore, Gold and so forth. Most of these minerals have fortunately not being utilized to full capacity, owing to the dependence on oil revenue. However, there are indications that the recent fall in the price of oil in the international market has awakened the will to the do the needful and stabilize the economy. As a measure to achieve this, Dangote Group and six other firms are slated to commence the mining of key solid minerals in the country this year. This was disclosed by the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office on Monday said six foreign mining companies and Dangote Group of Companies would commence mining of gold, iron ore, coal, lead and zinc in 2015.
The Director-General of the Office, Mr. Mohammed Amate, who spoke interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, listed the companies as Kogi Mines, an Australian Mining Company based in Kogi, which had concluded its four-year exploration exploration programmes and would commence the mining of iron ore in Agbaja in the state this year. The company had also delineated more than 500 million tonnes of iron ore. Segilola Nig. Ltd would also begin the mining of gold in Iperindo area of the IIesha Schist belt of Osun State. Amate said that so far, the companies had carried out the same exercise and delineated more than one million ounces of gold in the area.
Mines Geotechniques Nig. Ltd and Northern Numero Resources Ltd, both Australian companies, would begin the mining of gold this year in Kebbi. Dangote Group was also to conclude its coal exploration in 2015 and to immediately commence mining of coal in Kogi and Benue States. The company which had been working towards commencing coal mining in both states, held mining titles covering limestone, coal and gypsum. West African Polaris Investment Ltd, a Chinese company, would commence mining of tin and columbite in Nasarawa State while Tongyi Allied and Mineral Services Ltd, another Chinese company, would begin mining of lead/zinc in Wasa, Plateau State. The two companies would commence major mining operation in various locations in the two states as they have delineated their reserves.
He further added 169 Small Scale Mining Companies had already begun mining gemstone, gold, lead/zinc, columbite/Tantalite among others across the country. Amate advised the miners to carry out their operations legally, pay their fees promptly to the government as well as reclaim mines sites after activities as provided by the law. He went on to sound a note of warning to the miners against discharging harmful materials into the environment that could pose danger to lives. He reiterated the government’s commitment to undertake these projects and regretted that so much money had been lost to illegal mining activities.