In a significant development for Nigerian professionals in the solid minerals sector, a groundbreaking deal which will provide Nigerian experts with the opportunity to travel to Australia for further studies and training has been brokered by the Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr. Dele Alake during his visit to Perth, Australia.
During his courtesy visit to the Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Energy, Corrective Services and Industrial Relations of the Western Australian government, Hon. Bill Johnston, Alake expressed appreciation for the progress made by Australia in mineral development. He acknowledged Australia’s wealth of knowledge and expertise in the modern mining industry and emphasised the benefits of Nigerians receiving training, participating in study trips and engaging in exchanges with mineral professionals in Australia.
Alake highlighted the Nigerian government’s commitment to attracting foreign direct investment in the solid minerals sector. This commitment involves significant investments in data collection on minerals and their deposits, the establishment of a solid minerals corporation, and the formation of joint venture agreements with multinational mining companies to enhance the sector’s global competitiveness.
He also emphasised Nigeria’s abundant deposits of precious minerals, including lithium, gold, coal, lead, zinc, baryte and iron ore.
Alake proposed a programme that would enable Nigerian mining professionals to gain knowledge of modern mining technology and practices in Western Australia with the support of the government.
In response, Johnston expressed his appreciation for the courtesy visit and underscored its significance in fostering cordial relations between the two nations. He welcomed the proposal and assured Alake that the Western Australian government would support the transfer of knowledge and skills to Nigerian mining professionals. Additionally, he pledged to sponsor mining experts to visit Nigeria and share their expertise.
He encouraged Alake to make a formal request promptly to enable collaboration and the realization of this shared goal. He also expressed his readiness to mobilize both the public and private sectors to support the initiative, as numerous companies are eager to explore opportunities for developing Africa’s mining sector.
The Nigerian delegation accompanying Alake included Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, Ambassador Anderson Madubike; Deputy High Commissioner, Mrs. Mercy Clement; An investment banker from ANZ Bank, Mr. Martins Imonitie; Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Solid Minerals, Dr. Mary Ogbe; Special adviser to the minister, Hon. Kehinde Bamigbetan; Director of the Mining Cadastral Office, Engr. Nkom Obadiah and technical assistant to the minister, Mrs. Chinemerem Nwaka.