The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, yesterday said Nigeria lacks bankable adequate geosciences data across the county.
He noted that N142.6 million has been shared among 11 universities for research, mapping and evaluation of specific solid minerals in the country.
Adegbite stated this in Abuja, at the stakeholders’ validation exercise on the field research in the areas of mining engineering, metallurgy and mineral processing, geological mapping, Industrial and minerals utilisation/exports and energy minerals.
The minister explained that the institutions that were beneficiaries of the research grants were carefully selected by an independent faculty of five erudite professors of proven integrity that contributed to the growth and development of the sector, especially within the academia and professional bodies.
He said: “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.
“The Ministry, therefore, has made data generation, retrieval and storage a priority and would continue to invest hugely in this area. In this regard, the sum of N142.6 million was shared among 14 beneficiaries for research development in various areas relating to mapping and evaluation of particular mineral deposits, which we believe will no doubt increase the fountain of Geosciences data available for investors.”
In his paper presentation, the Professor of Geology at the University of Ibadan, Otalaunji Akinade Shadrach, said, “Despite all these positive reports from the world Feldspar market, the African continent was not mentioned as a major player in the global feldspar market. Which makes African nations import dependent.
“The Felspar occurrence in southwestern Nigerian basement complexes have been assessed in Oyo, Ogun, Osun and Ekiti states and were identified and evaluated. The feldspars can be grouped into two viz associated with Gem-bearing pegmatite and those not associated with gem minerals but containing some amount of quartz and muscovite more commonly and biotitic very rarely,” he said.
Also, Committee chairman of the research and Professor of Geology at the University of Ibadan, Olugbenga Akindeji Okunola, noted that the research would act as filling to increase the data bank of the Ministry to be used by people in the industry.
He said the program is just a collaboration with lots of funding for research from the ministry, between the ministry and the academic because there areas that need a feeling.