The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite has touted minerals as the main driver of the mines and steel sector which provide green renewable energy in environmental, social and governance standards.
Adegbite said this during a press briefing at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja to mark the sixth edition of the Nigeria mining week themed: “Successes and achievements in the Nigerian mining sector”.
Adegbite highlighted the importance of vital mineral resources for the economic well-being of the world, to produce new energies and technologies for the country.
“One of the key issues to be discussed would include the vital mineral resources of the future which are the building blocks for many technologies providing us with green renewable energy while allowing us to keep in line with the environmental, social and governance (ESG) global standards. We shall also deliberate on the acquisition of bankable geoscientific data, the efficient and transparent mineral title administration processes, as well as downstream opportunities in the mining sector and the Nigerian Mineral Value-chain Regulations 2021.
“The future minerals are globally recognised as vital for the economic well-being of the world’s major and emerging economies, as they are essential for producing new energies and technologies. These minerals primarily comprise copper, cobalt, lithium, nickel, platinum group minerals and, to a lesser extent, aluminium, chromium, graphite, manganese, rare earth elements and zinc.
“Over the next two decades, the mineral demands from electric vehicles and battery storage are predicted to grow astronomically. Thus, the development of these minerals or the lack thereof will determine the economic strength or weakness of a developing nation like Nigeria.”
Adegbite explained that downstream policy must be a sign of beneficiation to make produce for Nigeria before it is exported.
He highlighted the scope of the event to be an overview of the current policy framework for the sustainable development of the solid minerals sector, explore the sustainable investment opportunities available to investors in the Nigerian mining sector, highlight the potential and current challenges faced in the mining sector and discuss access to finance for bankable mining projects.
The minister assured that the government has put all its political will and weight behind the sustainable development of the mining sector and that security agencies have been deployed to ensure that all lives and property are well secured.
In his remarks, the acting national president, Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Alhaji Musa Muhammad disclosed that the ministry will showcase its achievements.
“[The] mining sector will play a significant role in environmental and social development, as well as global governance.
“Financing is the key issue which the Federal Government has attempted to tackle in the sector [but there is still a lot to be done]”.