By Oluwaseun Sonde, Abuja.
The minister of Mines and Steel, Engr Olamilekan Adegbite has said the existing documented stock of mineral resources could kick-start a boom in the mining industry, that his ministry was intended to partner with a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the industry to deepen reforms, fostering a conducive ecosystem for private sector participation and growth.
He made this known at the grand opening ceremony of the 4th Annual Nigeria Mining Week, organised by Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) in collaboration with Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) and Spintelligent in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him: “The desire to facilitate local production of these minerals is aimed at conserving foreign exchange and creating jobs and wealth for the citizenry. Some of these minerals include calcium carbonate, kaolin, barite, gypsum and mica.”
He said the total value of Nigeria’s industrial minerals imports in 2016, calcium carbonate represented more than 25 per cent, while mica represented 20.3 per cent, gypsum represented, 9.1 per cent and barite represented 3.6 per cent.
Also Adegbite declared that it would provide the necessary supports to the private sector to develop calcium carbonate for water treatment, dimension stones for building industry and barite for the oil and gas sector.
He had early lamented that despite the host of mineral resources embedded within the states in Nigeria, the sector was still classified as non-performing.