Nigeria, US partner on solid mineral development

In line with the Federal Government's plan to develop the solid minerals sector, the United States Geological Survey and its Nigerian counterpart, would, next week, commence strategic engagements aimed at working out suitable technical partnership between the two countries.
The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Enstwistle, disclosed details of the engagement between the two countries geological survey agencies during a meeting with the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, in Abuja, yesterday.

Enstwistle explained that the two geological survey agencies would work on data collection with a view to determining the quantity of Nigeria's mineral deposit.

"The US geological Survey next week will partner with the Nigerian Agency to begin to see what kind of technical cooperation that might be possible, particularly in the areas which involve figuring out exactly what Nigeria has on ground, what quality and we want to see what is possible in that regard," said Enstwistle.
Fayemi at the meeting which was also attended by the Minister of State in the ministry, Hon Abubakar Bwari, had earlier hinted on the planned technical cooperation in geological data to improve the Nigerian solid minerals sector.

According to the Minister some of the issues confronting the Nigerian mining sector include the quality of the data available to determine the size of what the country has and how the country can use bankable data for potentials investors.
The Federal Government, according to the Minister, had approached the US to assist the country in this area in order to determine the quality and quantity of the various minerals available considering the wealth of experience of the US Geological Survey in that field.

He said the experience of the American institution will help Nigeria to improve on what it has in terms of its huge minerals deposit.
The Minister also stated that Nigeria is focusing on how to improve on industrial minerals beyond exporting raw materials.

"Another area of cooperation will be in the improvement of monitoring" the minister said, adding that there is need for the regulatory authorities to have effective monitoring mechanisms to effectively monitor what is available and how they are being exported as revealed by the NEITI report.
Fayemi who hailed the US government's readiness to partner with Nigeria , said the country is also partnering with institutions like the World Bank and other governments with vast experience in mining to help the country achieve President Muhammadu Buhari's aspiration in the diversification of the economy through the solid minerals sector.