THE Federal Government has officially opened a new mining exploration site at Kuchiko Camp in Suleja, Niger State.
The project, which is domiciled in the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) and supervised by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development is funded through the Natural Resource Fund.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday, mining minister, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, noted that the project is aimed at addressing one of the key challenges in the development of the solid minerals sector, which he ascribed to absence of bankable data.
Bwari said the project is part of the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project (NIMEP), which is costing the government N15 billion, making it the biggest exploration activity of its kind ever embarked upon by his ministry.
“Preliminary report from here shows deposits of some the minerals that we are looking at. With the presidential order, we want to know what we have and the commercial value and I think we are getting there. From what we have seen here, the results are quite exciting and encouraging.
“We are building foundation for job-creation and more revenue to come into Nigeria. No investor will take us seriously if we are unable to provide the kind of accurate, verifiable data that speaks to both the quality and quantity of the Mineral we have,” he said.
Director General of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), Dr Abdulrazaq Garba, commended government’s bold effort in carrying out the exercise despite dwindling revenues.
He said: “This shows government’s commitment to achieving it’s diversification policy. It is envisaged that at the end of the ongoing Phase 2 of the project the potentials of gold mineralisation will be clearer.”
Managing Director, AG Vision Mining, Fadi Ghazale, said so far all the indications in the site, shows that Nigeria is endowed with mineral resources.
“We have run so far more than three thousand samples that has been sent to internationally recognized labs and all indications shows that we have high anomaly zones of gold, lead and zinc, cobalt, copper, baryte, tantalize,” said Ghazale.