Nigeria’s mining sector is becoming a major attraction to local and foreign investors, according to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite.
Adegbite, who spoke at the commissioning of Fire Assay Laboratory and Earthquake Monitoring Centre in Kaduna State, noted that the present administration is not relaxing but putting in effort to ensure full diversification of the economy following provision of basic and important state of the art facilities for ease of doing business in the sector.
He said that the government is building a world class mining sector that would be the toast of investors.
The minister also expressed optimism that with completion and commissioning the establishment of a Fire Assay laboratory, a crucial step towards making the country a major mining destination has been established.
The Fire Assay laboratory is the first of its kind in Nigeria and is considered the most reliable means for accurately determining the content of gold, silver, and platinum-group metals in ores or concentrates.
“The commissioning today (Friday) is a testament to the impressive policy drive of president Buhari. He is the only president that has put extra budgetary funds into the sector to develop it.
“The Laboratory was a crucial analytical infrastructure needed in the mining sector to accurately determine the concentrates of precious metals in ore, noting that the development was bound to take the mining sector to the next level.
“We now have the analytical facilities that can support the mining ecosystem in the country and this is bound to attract more foreign interest in to the he sector.”
He said that the Fire Assay Laboratory would save the country millions of dollars spent outside the country to conduct such analysis on metal ores.
“With the establishment of a fire Assay laboratory, we do not need to take metal ores out of the country to determine the level of concentrate of precious metals, thereby expending our scares foreign exchange in other countries.
“This fire Assay laboratory would free up scarce foreign exchange, while it would also serve as a revenue generator for the government as companies who want to mine precious metals would no longer need to send samples out of the country but now send them to our laboratory in Kaduna which would be a source of revenue generation for the government”, he added.
Speaking about the earthquake monitoring equipment, the minister noted that it was important for monitoring and measuring tremors.