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63rd Independence: time to invest more in solid minerals – MAN

From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja

As Nigeria marks its 63rd anniversary, the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) has appealed to the Federal Government to allocate more funding to the solid mineral sector.

This is contained in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the Association, Fatai Jimoh, in Abuja.

The statement stresses that Nigeria’s solid minerals rank among the best in the world in terms of quality, adding that they need to be fully developed to improve the economy of the nation.

It adds that this is the rightful time for the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development to partner with the Miners Association of Nigeria to achieve a renewed Nigeria.

“Minerals are the constituent of rocks, ores and meteorites and with a few exceptions, are the most stable chemical elements known to Miners Association of Nigeria” he states.

“On this independence day of our beloved country Nigeria; I find it important to remind us all of the need to fully develop the Nigeria solid minerals which ranks among the best in the world in terms of quality” Mr. Jimoh says.

“Permit me to go into literature to drive my point home. Milovsky and Kononov, 1985 classified minerals as Native elements such as (Gold, Silver, copper, platinum, diamond, sulphur etc).

“As sulphides and their analogues to which category belong galena, pyrite, chalcopyrite etc., as halides of which rock salt and fluorspar are examples. In the oxide category are minerals like quartz, hematite, cassiterite, columbite-tantalite, opal, ruby and sapphire”

“To the carbonates family belongs calcite, dolomite and siderite, while the silicate and aluminosilicate categories include; zircon, topaz, emerald, aquamarine, wollastonite amongst others”

“The sulphates consist of barites, biotite, muscovite and lepidolite, while the phosphate and vanadates include apatite and others.

Minerals may also be grouped into four: metallic, non-metallic, ornamental and mineral fuels. Metallic minerals include cassiterite, (tin ore) lead, zinc, iron, manganese, platinum, tantalite, columbite, gold, copper, silver, nickel, chromium, cobalt, mercury, vanadium, lithium, etc. Non-metallic minerals, also known as industrial minerals are by far more abundant than their metallic variety”

“These include ceramic clays, feldspars, barytes, gypsum, kaolin, limestone, marble, phosphates, silica sand, talc, diatomite, asbestos, graphite, and diamond. Also included within the category of industrial minerals are dimension stones, which have played popular roles in the development of civilisation for several millennia.”

“The Honourable Minister of Solid Minerals Sir, all patriotic Nigerians, it is pertinent to note that we have all these in commercial quantities in Nigeria” he emphasizes.

On this note, we need to ask ourselves these questions: Why are we lacking in the midst of abundance? Why is the GDP contribution of Nigeria’s solid minerals still less than 2%? Why are we still having a high level of unemployment when the Nigerian solid minerals industry alone can generate so much employment? Why are we still having a low export-to-inport ratio among others?

Yes, I am confident to say that we need to hit the ground running with the right policies and collaborations, This is the time when the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development and the Miners Association of Nigeria needs the highest levels of collaboration than ever.

“We need a “Renewed Hope Committee on solid Minerals where the Miners Association’s best brains can contribute their experience to the development of our dear solid minerals industry.”