Minister of Mines and Steel Development Olamilekan Adegbite says the nation is building a world class mining sector that will attract investors.
According to a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Minister on Media, Ayodeji Adeyemi, the minister made the remark during the commissioning of the Fire Assay laboratory and Earth quake Monitoring Centre in Kaduna State.
It states that the commissioning is a testament to the impressive policy drive of president Buhari whom he says has put extra budgetary funds into the sector to develop it.
The statement further notes that the Laboratory is a crucial analytical infrastructure needed in the mining sector to accurately determine the concentrates of precious metals in ore, whichwill take the mining sector to the next level.
According to the statement the establishment of a Fire Assay laboratory was a crucial step towards making the country a major mining destination adding that the analytical facilities will support the mining ecosystem in the country for more foreign investment.
It explains that the Fire Assay Laboratory will save the country millions of dollars spent outside the country to conduct such analysis on metal ores.
The statement says the facilities wil serve as a revenue generator for the government as companies who want to mine precious metals will no longer need to send samples out of the country, but to the laboratory in Kaduna, which be a source of revenue for the government.
On his part, the Director General of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, NGSA, Dr Abdulrazaq Garba, who corroborated the Minister’s position on the importance of a Fire Assay laboratory explained that some companies involved in the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project, NIMEP, programme had spent millions of dollars to obtain such analysis outside the country.
The fire Assay laboratory is owned by the National Geosciences Research Laboratory Centre Kaduna, which is under the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, under the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
By Georgina Humphrey