Nigeria’s federal government has invested $50 million to explore gold, lithium and several other metals, the country’s Minister of Mines and Steel Development told Arab News in an exclusive interview.
Olamilekan Adegbite said that: “To date we’ve discovered over 44 minerals. These include gold, lithium, copper, cobalt, oxide, [you] name it”.
Looking forward, the current task for the Nigerian government is to select a few of those minerals and de-risk them for potential investors.
However, while maintaining that the mining sector is very important, the minister indicated that responsible mining and sustainability should be top priorities.
He added that mining, by its very nature, is “disruptive” and, consequently, the environmental impacts on communities should be limited.
Adegbite also emphasized the communal ownership of minerals, saying that the country’s government administer mining but grant its ownership to the community.
“You cannot do your mining without asking the consent of other people, no matter the value of what’s under their seat. I have to ask you in the first place [that] I want to mine there.”