The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, has said Nigeria has what it called “the mineral of the future” that can power electric cars and phones.
Adegbite said this to international investors during one of the investors’ forums at the Mining Conference in Riyadh Saudi, according to a statement by the ministry.
The statement said, “The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, while speaking to a hall full of international investors, said that Nigeria has the mineral of the future that can power electric cars and phones.”
The minister urged the investors to engage in the Nigerian mining sector, describing it as one of the most investor-friendly in the world.
He said some major mining companies started showing interest in the Nigerian mining sector.
According to him, Nigeria intends to auction rights to mine some strategic minerals later this year.
Adegbite said, “We have strengthened governance and transparency in the sector and provided assurance to investors through the upgrade, automation, and decentralisation of the Mining Cadastre Office. We are improving the connectivity between investors and the public with important geological information through the establishment of a Nigeria Geo-Data Centre at the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency.
“As we deepen our efforts to revitalise the mining sector, we are doing so with lessons learnt from a half-century of resource extraction. We recognise, for instance, that it is not enough to seek investments merely for the sake of exploitation and extraction.
“Rather than writing this new chapter of economic growth, our aim is to develop local industries, generate employment, and focus on resource beneficiation to create wealth along the mineral value chain.”
The minister said the Federal Government had invested $50m to explore gold, lithium, and several other metals.
“To date, the country has discovered over 44 minerals occurring in commercial quantities across the 36 states and the federal capital Territory. These include gold, lithium, copper, cobalt, oxide, amongst others,” he added.