Quality geoscience data brought more investors into the mining sector- Garba


By Palma Ileye

Director General, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, NGSA, Dr Abdulrazaq Garba, has said that there has been an influx of investors because of the quality of geoscience data the agency had generated.

Garba made this known yesterday during an interactive session with newsmen in the agency’s headquarters in Abuja.

He stated that it was only the right type of data that could attract appropriate investors noting that the the agency has improved from generating surface maps.

“Before what we do is surface maps but we have improved, we also achieved this using the appropriate tools to produce geodata. We have published the first set of data on geochronology recently, which has to do with ages of minerals,” he said.

Explaining capacity development of the NGSA, the Director General pointed out that the agency was the bridge between the academia and the industry.

He also said that sustainability was the key to driving the mining sector into greater heights as he solicited for more funding to ensure continued growth and development of the economy.

He further stated that the success stories of the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency, NGSA, could be seen in the increased revenue generation of sister agency such as The Nigeria Mining Cadastral Office, MCO, and Mines Inspectorate.

Speaking on the NIMEP Project, he said that it was a means to an end adding that there was no end to data generation as Nigeria was still at the upstream where data generation is very important.

He explained that the project was a success story as it has been able to produce Three Hundred and Thirty Three (333) maps albums presenting the 36 States and resources found in them.

“What we had when I came on board was the Interactive maps, currently we have produced Lithostructural maps that has Tetonic information about Nigeria,” he added

He said Nigeria has high grade hard rock lithium mineral where pockets of occurrences has been discovered stating that its lithium occurrences were of grade and that investors were currently eager to pay large amount for some of the dataset generated

Nigerian Pilot reports that lithium is an element valuable for the production of glass, aluminum products, batteries that recharge mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras and electric vehicles.

“Nigeria lithium is hot cake now, the mineral was discovered in several parts of the country in the course of the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project, NIMEP, during exploration and we did investigation and came up with analysis and discovered that Nigeria lithium is of high grade.

“High grade in the sense that the standard worldwide for even exploration and mining starts from 0.4 per cent lithium oxide but when we started exploration and mining, we saw one per cent up to 13 per cent lithium oxide content.

“Another advantage of Nigeria lithium is hard rock lithium found and that is what investors are looking out for worldwide.

“We even heard discussion with some private companies with mining licences in Nigeria and they conducted test on the lithium and we also collaborated with Canada on that too,” he said.

He said that all data received from NIMEP were quite exciting and would boost the economy.

NIMEP is a hallmark project that provides reliable geo-sciences information needed by investors to make the right mining investment decisions in Nigeria.

He said that a track of mineralisation almost two to 10 km was discovered close to Abuja, adding that resource evaluation was conducted on the area and anomolous gold, lead and silver were discovered with Tungsten.

“Gold mineralisation found there has high content of tungsten which is used as an additive in the production of steel, therefore, any company mining there will be mining gold associated with lead, silver and tungsten.

Garba said that many companies both local and international investors are interested in the data set generated.

He said that pronouncement would be made soon on companies that had shown interest on those data saying that “what we want to do is we are projecting to we concession the areas that are free through the Nigeria Mining Cadastre Office, NMCO, so interested investors can get licence and data and take it to the next level.

“These are the things we are looking at and working on to ensure that the data we generate are useful to investors.”

Meanwhile in his presentation at the just concluded Nigeria- Africa Natural Resources and Energy Investment Summit, NAFNIS, the NGSA boss disclosed that government had identified seven strategic minerals based on the information available on them.

“The seven minerals are Coal, Iron Ore, Bitumen, Gold, Limestone, Lead/Zinc and Barite,” he listed.

Garba said that the government had invested funds in generating Geoscience data for those minerals to enable investors have adequate knowledge about them.

“Basically, you will agree with me that the business of mining is not meant for government to do investigation on minerals, but in this our particular climate, we need to take this information up to a particular level whereby the minerals will be attractive to investors.

The NGSA has over a hundred years been the sole generator and validator of geo data and geological information.