FG pledges mineral data to aid Qatari businessmen eyeing Nigerian lithium

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By Palma Ileye

Federal Government through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, has pledged mineral data to aid Qatar in doing business with Nigerian Lithium.

Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Alake according to a press release issued by his aide, Kehinde Bamigbetan made this disclosure in Doha, Qatar over the weekend at a meeting with Qatari businessmen on the sidelines of the visit of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the Arab country.

Alake stated that comprehensive data on the pattern and quantity of energy mineral Lithium were available at the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, NGSA, for businesses interested in establishing lithium companies in Nigeria.

Responding to enquires on the quality of Nigerian lithium by Qatari business mogul Sheikh Shahid Jawad at the meeting held at the prestigious Sheraton Doha, the Solid Minerals Minister said mineral exploration initiated by the Federal Government has identified locations where lithium occurs in commercial quanties in high grades.

To buttress the disclosure, he recalled that on a visit to Australia, he was presented with samples of rock composites from Nigeria with high grade lithium comtent confirmed by laboratory analysis.

He said it showed that the quality of Nigerian lithium has been recognised by the global mining sector.

Encouraging Qatari businessmen to visit the country and witness the immense opportunities in mining, Alake said the Nigerian government has put in place generous, investor- friendly policies to facilitate business.

Also speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of Solid Minerals Development Fund, SMDF, Mrs Fatimah Shinkafi urged investors to explore opportunities in mining infrastructures.

Giving the example of Vale, a mining company in Brazil that invested in trains to ease the transportation of minerals from the Mines to the processing towns, Shinkafi said while the Government will continue to provide transportation facilities to the Mines, mining companies that recognise the significance of transportation to their future cost control will invest wisely by supplementing government’s efforts.

Also giving the Minister the update of its activities in the Mining sector, the Vice- Chairman of the Qatar- Nigerian Chamber of Business, Muhammed Santuraki said the chamber was formed in 2017 to build business relations between both countries.

Recalling a recent visit to a gold mine in Nasarawa State, Santuraki observed the existence of good roads for the haulage of minerals to the ports.

Other businessmen at the top- level meeting were Sheikh El Jouneid, Chief Executive Officer, ETCC Qatar and Aminu Dahiru, chairman, Asdub Oil & Gas.