Mining: FG to establish 6 mineral centres to boost sector

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake, says plans are ongoing by the Federal Government to establish six mineral centres in the six geo-political zones.

According to Alake, the aim is to boost the sector.

Alake said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.

He said that the plan was part of the President Bola Tinubu’s administration’s commitment to diversify the country’s economy, by developing key sectors such as the solid minerals industry.

‘Another one is the creation of six mineral centres in each of the six geo-political zones.

‘We have our minerals all over the country and we cannot concentrate the mineral processing centres in one centre, and as we speak those plans are ongoing in the zones’, he said.

According to the Minister, the centres are also part of the government’s commitment to promote value addition to its minerals, aimed at facilitating multiplier effects on the economy.

NAN recalls that the minister had announced that no licenc
e would be granted to mining companies to operate without presenting a comprehensive plan for value addition such as processing and refining.

Alake said that investors in the past extracted raw mineral resources from Nigeria without adding value to them, which he described as a great loss to the country’s economy.

‘Lithium is one of the finest qualities in the world, and it has other associated minerals like nickel, cobalt, and copper.

‘So when an operator takes an ounce of our Lithium out of Nigeria, perhaps he declares Lithium.

‘But when he gets to his host country, he now has other associated minerals to his gain and to the loss of Nigeria.

‘So our major policy which we enacted is that, henceforth, we would no longer approve an application from an investor that does not show us a concrete plan for local value addition.

‘Which means processing here to add local value addition, and this will generate a multiplier effect like local employment, technology and skills transfer,’ he said.

He said that the
move was in line with plans to locally produce Electric Vehicle’s (EVs) batteries in Nigeria, whose major ingredient is Lithium.

‘Our objective here is to begin to produce EVs batteries with Lithium and other associated minerals, ‘ he said.

The Minister said that the local value addition policy had also been widely accepted by other African countries aimed at developing their local economies.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria