11 March 2021 By Georgina Humphrey
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite says the Nigerian Mining sector is poised to attract more foreign investors with the establishment of a Fire Assay laboratory in Kaduna State.
In a statement signed by Special Assistant on Media, to the minister, Mr. Ayodeji Adeyemi, states that the establishment of a Fire Assay laboratory is crucial in making the country a major mining destination.
It explains that the Fire Assay laboratory is the first of its kind in Nigeria and considered the most reliable means to accurately determine the content of gold, silver, and platinum-group metals in ores or concentrates.
The statement explains that the Laboratory will 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 scarce foreign exchange in other countries” Adegbite said.
“This fire Assay laboratory would free up scarce foreign exchange, while it will 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”
According to the statement, Adegbite thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his support to the mining sector and for allocating special intervention fund for the sector to enhance its Geo-science data generation capacity.
On his part, the Director General, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, NGSA, Dr. Abdulrazaq Garba the Fire Assay laboratory would enhance Nigeria’s status as a Mining jurisdiction in the global mining world.
Garba also revealed that two companies involved in the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Project, NIMEP, programme had spent millions of dollars to obtain such analysis outside the country.
“About two companies did fire essay analysis outside the country just to determine the metal content of what they are doing for example gold, content, the companies in between them spent about two million dollars. If half of that came into the NGSA we would have been able to achieve internally generated revenue for the sector, we would have also been able to save capital flight.
The fire Assay laboratory is owned by the National Geosciences Research Laboratory Centre Kaduna, which is under the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, an agency under the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.