Abuja - Nigeria and South Africa are partnering to promote the development of artisanal and small-scale gold mining in the country, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Musa Sada, has said.
The minister stated this in an interview at the weekend in Abuja.
He said under the arrangement, the ministry would procure mining machineries from South Africa for artisanal and small-scale gold miners.
"The machines are to give better value to mined gold. Our focus is on gold because we have a lot of artisanal and small-scale miners.
"We realised that we are wasting a lot of resources and not getting as much as we should from mining. So, we need to improve on our mining technology and commodity pricing,’’ he said.
Sada said that Nigeria would also partner with North Korea to develop the huge granite deposits in the country, adding that the Asian country had a lot of competence in granite development, processing and use.
He noted that granite was used for resurfacing of roads in North Korea, unlike in Nigeria where bitumen is used.
"We feel that with the huge amount of granite we have in the country, we can use it for many things.
"You can imagine a road surfaced with granite; the road will be very durable,’’ he said, adding that a study had been conducted on rock materials in the country.
"We have engaged an Italian consultant who went around the country and identified all the rock types.
"There is a type of rock you can cut and polish, and there is one you can crush and use for your building and road construction.
"There is another type that can be cut into cubes and used for pavements, floors or roads,’’ he added.
The minister said that Nigeria had concluded plans to acquire the technology and deploy granite cutting machines across the country.
He said that the ministry and the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) were collaborating in mineral processing to ensure the viability of mining industries.
He said that the ministry and the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) would ensure that Nigeria’s mineral resources had appropriate value, adding that 44 minerals had been identified, while priority was accorded to seven due to paucity of funds.
"We want to take minerals to a point where they can make the greatest impact.
"If we give attention to all the identified 44 minerals, we may not be able to develop them to the required height,’’ he added.
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