The 2022 Investing in African Mining Indaba in South Africa has come and gone, but not without some major highlights which saw stakeholders and business leaders from across the globe seeking for new opportunities in different climes for investment and partnership. This time, it was the African continent battling to woo investors to its solid mineral-endowed lands and waters.
As is the custom, the Nigerian delegation had a Nigeria Day event which was held on 10th May 2022 with the theme, "Investing Opportunities along the Mining Value Chain". Attended by the nation's Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, heads of agencies under the ministry, investors, potential investors and experts in the industry, the event was a perfect haven for networking, pitching and reaching substantial agreements.
The Minister, in his keynote address, noted that $50 Million is not so much when compared to how much is required to do exhaustive exploration works for the 44 minerals in Nigeria, but is a bold step that shows the country's readiness to lead the way. He added that the project only focused on four minerals due to the funds available, noting that it will be a continuing project as more funds are made available.
After the keynote address delivered by the Minister, the interactive part of the event got underway with a panel discussion on the topic, "Nigeria Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP) and Nigeria as one of Africa's Most Attractive Mining Destinations". With notable panelists, such as renowned Geology expert and scholar, Dr Crowe Warwick Anthony and Director-General of Nigeria's Mining Cadastre Office, Engr. Nkom Simon Obadiah, the stage looked set for a highly technical brainstorming session.
Other panelists for the session were Director-General of the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency, Dr Abdulrazaq Garba and the Director-General of the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency, Dr Umar Albarka Hassan. The point was made that Nigeria's $50 Million investment in NIMEP has gone a long way to produce viable data which proves the presence of enormous gold, Iron-ore, barite and lead-zinc deposits across the country.
On his part, Dr. Garba, who leads the NGSA which is the supervising agency for the project, underscored the importance of exploration and data for any mineral-rich nation looking to woo investors. He applauded the efforts of the Nigerian government for the highly successful NIMEP project and urged investors to take advantage of the low-hanging fruits which the results of NIMEP provide.
DG of the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency, Dr Hassan was also on hand to provide useful insights into the participation of the agency in the NIMEP project, highlighting commercially viable iron-ore finds in places like Nasko-Libale in Niger state (which is a totally new discovery) and Tajimi in Kogi state, among others. He noted that these new finds are another addition to the huge iron-ore deposits already established across Nigeria.
Other minerals like gold, lead-zinc and barite also proved to be really successful finds in the target lots for the project as the Nigerian government continues to seek viable and mutually beneficial partnerships with investors with capacity to fully exploit these minerals. Also on the front burner was a panel discussion which considered "Bitumen Concession as a Panacea for further Infrastructural Development in Nigeria".