Federal Government has stated its move to stop the importation of barite mineral resources, declaring its readiness to create a sustainable mining process.
The Minister for Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, at the launch of the Nigerian Barite in Port Harcourt, said as part of the core mandate of the Ministry, he would ensure that solid minerals are refined and produced in the country.
Adegbite enumerated some challenges the Ministry was faced with before 2016, blaming lack of infrastructure, artisanal mining activities and insufficient funding as some of the worries in the sector.
He said: “As one of the mandate of the ministry, refining and production of solid Mineral in the state will enable the ministry to take minerals from the mines instead of just producing raw ore and exporting them.
“Some of the constraints include insufficient pre-competitive geoscience knowledge and geo-data, weak institutional, regulatory, and oversight capacity of the Ministry of Mines and Steel development, MMSD; limited infrastructure; illegal and artisanal mining activities; and insufficient funding for sector participants.”
The minister revealed that the Federal Executive Council, FEC, approved the Roadmap for the Growth and Development of the Nigerian Mining Industry to address the said constraints and rejuvenate the minerals, mining, and metals sector.
He added that the goal was to create a globally competitive mining sector that contributes to sustained inclusive economic growth and developmental impact.
Adegbite said that the desire to facilitate local production of these minerals was geared towards conserving foreign exchange and creating jobs and wealth for the citizenry which is evident in the launch of the Nigerian barite today.