The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development says plans are underway to establish the Solid Minerals Development Fund, SMDF, Act, to empower the agency to source funds from the private sector
The Minister Olamilekan Adegbite made this known at the presentation of two batches of Niton DLX Precious Metal Analyzer and Mettler Toledo Precision Analytical Balance by the Executive Secretary of SMDF, Hajiya Fatima Umaru Shinkafi in Abuja.
Adegbite explained that the act would enable SMDF perform its statutory function to equip mining departments and agencies as well as assist the ministry to perform its oversight function.
“The SMDF is fulfilling one of its obligations to the department and to the ministry. And I think we should develop on this so that there can be total synergy” Adegbite added
“Once we are able to do this it would be greatly beneficial for all of us as they would be in the position to raise funds even outside government from the private sector”.
The minister stressed that the knowledge acquired by the various departments in the ministry such as Mining Inspectorate, Artisanal and Small Scale Mining, ASM, Mine Environmental Compliance, MEC would be made available to SMDF.
“It should also be that the knowledge we acquire from the field from MI, ASM, IPMT, MEC is availed to SMDF so that they can be used to tailor some of their products. so it should be symbiotic and a win-win for all.” the minister stressed.
Adegbite commended the leadership of the agency, for the procurement of the equipment which would help the ministry’s officers at the field to identify the right amount and quantity of specific minerals.
Earlier the Executive Secretary of SMDF, Hajiya Fatima Umaru Shinkafi explained that her agency was performing its statutory function of equipping mining institutions by enabling them to perform their roles and help the departments to also perform their duties excellently.
“The Niton DLX precious metal analyser will enable nondestructive analysis of metals with near-instantaneous results.
It is exceptionally fast, easy to use, results appears in seconds on a bright, touch-screen colour display, It requires no harsh chemicals or acids that can burn your fingers, ruin clothing and damage countertops. Faster more comprehensive analysis than fire assay, with comparable accuracy.
The assay machine also eliminates the need for density test that is crude and inaccurate”.
By Georgina Humphrey