The National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency (NSRMEA) has disclosed that ongoing exploration work for Iron Ore within the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP) Lot A5 will be completed by the first quarter of 2021.

This much was revealed by the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Dr (Engr) Umar Albarka Hassan during a briefing at the headquarters of the agency recently. Dr Hassan noted that concluding what is left of the project is one of the major priorities for the year.

“We have gone a long way in the project, across all the target locations in Niger, Kogi, Enugu, Taraba, Katsina, Adamawa, Bauchi, Zamfara and Kaduna states. Although insecurity was a major challenge in some of those locations, we have carried out ground geophysicals and completed drilling operations with more than 60 core holes drilled.”

Continuing, he said, “analyses have also been carried out for many of the core samples collected and more than 11 prospects have been mapped out”.

As for other plans, the agency is looking to continue in its search for other minerals like bauxite, coal, manganese, and silica sand, among others in areas like Ekiti, Zamfara, Mambilla Plateau, Cross River and many others.

“It is what we do as an agency; to search for and discover economically viable resources wherever they are, and particularly for the steel sector, which is our mandate. Due to our experience and proven track record, we have also been offering consultancy services to members of the public in the areas of geophysical, geochemical, and geological surveys, as well as drilling.

“We will continue to offer such professional services as well, with even more dedication and efficiency,” Dr Hassan added.

While the DG assured government, clients and the entire Nigerians of the agency’s utmost professionalism and commitment, he seized the opportunity to wish Nigerians a prosperous new year. He said it is time to consolidate on the gains of the past and break new grounds in the future.

Recall that the NIMEP programme is an intervention of the Federal Government to produce viable geoscience data in a bid to woo investors to the Nigerian mining sector. The project is domiciled in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and supervised by the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency.