Nigerian gov’t targets seven minerals for national development

June 30, 2008

June 30th (Xinhua) – Nigeria’s Minister of Mines and Steel Development Sarafa Isola on Sunday in Abuja said the federal government has identified seven minerals for national development, reported the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday.

He said the minerals were Gold, Lead/Zinc, Barite, Bitumen, Limestone, Coal and Iron Ore. Isola said Nigeria was well endowed with myriad solid minerals, but that government selected only seven to ensure focus and added that blueprints had be developed on the seven areas.

According to him, the need to ensure focus became necessary to increase the contribution of the solid minerals sector to the GDP from 0.5 percent to somewhere around 7 percent. The minister said Nigeria had 5.5 billion tones of iron ore deposits and 1.386 billion tones of coal, for instance.

He added that lack of infrastructure was a hurdle that must be surmounted to ensure effective exploitation of the solid minerals. Isola said the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantity shot Nigeria off the solid minerals export map of the world. He said the exploitation of Nigeria’s huge iron ore deposit of some 5.5 billion tones would require beneficiation and other infrastructure since products from the mines could only be moved effectively on rail or through the seas.

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