The Federal government yesterday raised hopes of a major break-through in
the country's effort developing alternative mineral resource aside
from oil and gas, when it revealed the discovery of gold to the depth
of 3,000 meters with an estimated two million ounces in the Western
part of Nigeria.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development,
Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke who disclosed this at the presentation of
the World Bank-sponsored Nigerian Airborne Geophysical Survey Data
phase II in Abuja, said the import of the latest development is that
Nigeria may well be on her way to joining countries like Ghana in
supplying gold to the world market.
According to Madueke, a coring
done last year by the small mining companies, to the depth of 3,000
meters, has proved more than 300,000 ounces, with 2 million ounces
“ The importance of this fantastic piece of news is
probably best appreciated within the context of the knowledge that
Nigeria has gold schist belts in the western half of the country that
are very similar to those of Ghana”, she said.
She said surveys
have shown that Nigeria is richly endowed with a range of solid
minerals which if properly managed and exploited may in the near future
become the engine of our national economic growth.
She said the
Ministry has decided to place special focus on seven of the minerals
which includes, bitumen/tar sand with estimated reserves of 27bn
barrels of oil equivalent, coal (2.7 billion tonnes), iron ores (3
billion tonnes), limestone (2.23 billion tonnes), barytes (14 million
tonnes) and lead/zinc sulphides one million tonnes) .
described the completion of the geophysical survey phase II as
something that would facilitate mineral exploration, ground water
prospecting, pollution and geo-hazard monitoring.
also measures the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and Shuttle Radar
Topographic Mission (SRIM) which provide detailed information on
terrains, vegetations, landforms, settlements, roads and drainages.
The data is therefore extremely useful in security surveilance and
development planning”, she said.
The Minister further said plans
are underway geological, mineral and geo-chemical mapping of the
country with a view to providing all the necessary data needed to
adequately tap the mineral resources to our economic advantage.
said the Ministry is putting in place a genstone certification process,
adding that it has reached aggreement with internationally renowned
Nigeria-born Jeweler to design a Jewelry line, using exclusively
This line of Jewelry will be launched for the international and domestic market in March this year, she said.
the geologist involved in the preparation the survey data, Prof.
Collins Reeves said a mechanism will be put in place to enable
interested scientists to study, interpret and analyse the geophysical
survey data and that the outcome of their study will be made public
He said the experience of Brazil could be helpful in Nigeria quest for effective utilization of solid mineral resources.
Source: This Day