The partner geological survey agency, the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), intends to pursue a national policy that would prohibit the export of strategic solid minerals abroad.
NASENI is collaborating with the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) to identify, analyze, and profile various strategic minerals with the goal of fostering the domestic production of end products derived from these minerals.
Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Bashir Gwandu, disclosed this yesterday when he received the Director General of NGSA, Dr. Abdulrazaq A. Garba, who was on a working visit to NASENI headquarters in Abuja.
The two agencies agreed to explore potential areas of collaboration and domesticate the end product that can result from the country’s abundant mineral resources. They also agreed to create jobs, strengthen the economy, and reduce capital flight by encouraging potential investors to establish local processing plants in Nigeria.
Gwandu stated at the meeting that Nigeria possesses an abundance of strategic raw materials and must prioritize the processing of its solid minerals by implementing a policy that prohibits the exportation of certain raw materials and encourages investors, particularly international manufacturers, to establish plants in Nigeria and produce locally.
Using examples of lithium, titanium, low-grade cobalt, nickel, tungsten ore, copper, phosphate, and kaolin, which are found in large quantities throughout the country, Gwandu stated that undocumented or artisanal miners export thousands of metric tons of lithium every week without knowing the value of other associated minerals such as rubidium and cesium.
He went on to clarify that, since electric vehicle (EV) batteries can be made from lithium, he had invited foreign battery manufacturers, including Chinese investors, to Nigeria to discuss ways to ensure lithium batteries are produced there.
In his response, Garba expressed his delight at the establishment of a solid mineralogy research institute in Nasarawa State by NASENI, promising to collaborate with the organization on the development of additional laboratories for scientific research and mineral analysis.
He stated, “If we can achieve synergy, we can take it further and begin to domesticate the utilization of primary materials. We know the composition and location of a great number of them. We must collaborate in order to domesticate industrial mineral processing.
We are seeking collaboration on the technological advancement and domestication of our industrial minerals.”
The two organizations agreed to collaborate on a national policy to prohibit the export of strategic minerals at the highest levels of government.