Wednesday, April 2, 2014


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Nigeria is endowed with enormous mineral resources which when properly harnessed can lead to its industrial development and prospects. It is a known fact that countries abundantly endowed with mineral resources become great industrial nations. While on the other hand, the level of greatness of a nation is often a reflection of how its resources have been planned, managed and utilized. The occurrence of mineral resources in commercial quantities alone does not however guarantee optimum benefit, factors such as technological capacity, finance and market are also equally important.

Nigeria is blessed with abundant mineral resources and human resources capable of tapping these resources forindustrial growth, however, what is witnessed today is that most of the mineral development, especially the exploitation is done by informal and in most cases illegal miners using very crude techniques with no consideration for the environment or human health.

The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has identified and is promoting the development of 34 mineral resources in Nigeria which include iron ore, gold, coal, tantalite, bitumen, limestone,barite, gypsum, kaolin (MSMD) etc.

It is on record that Nigeria has a proven deposit of over three billion {3,000,000,000} tons of iron ore scattered in Kogi, Enugu, Zamfara, Kebbi, Niger and Kaduna states. At present most of our steel demands are been met from the recycling of metals scraps and the demand as been estimated at two million {2,000,000} tons annually.

Two broad types of iron ore occur prominently in Nigeria. They are:

(i) Banded iron formation which occur in folded bands and lenses associated with the Precambrian metasedimentary schist belts prominently outcropping in the western half of the country. Prominent locations include Tajimi, Itakpe, Ajabanoko , Ochokochoko Toto, Farin Ruwa, Birnin Gwari, Maru, Jamare, Kaura Namoda, Kakun, Isanlu, Roni and Ogbomoso areas.

ii The Cretaceous sedimentary(oolitic) iron deposits, occur prominently around Agbaja, Kotonkarfi, Nsudde areas in the North central and south eastern zones of the country respectively.

The banded iron formation of Nigeria generally occurs in metamorphosed folded bands, associated with Precambrian basement complex rocks which include low grade metasediments, high grade schist , gneisses and migmatites. Included in the these group are the well known Lokoja Okene District (LOK) occurrences notably at Itakpe, Ajabanoko, Kakun, Chokochoko, Toto Muro and Tajimi.

In the north western parts of Nigeria, the banded iron formation occurs sporadically in narrow bands and lenses interbedded with pelitic and semi pelitic phyllites and schists.

In some cases, especially around Tsofon Birinin Gwari they are interbanded with garnet-quartz mica Schist, lenticular bodies of orthoquartzites and carbonaceous schist. While in Maru area, they are inter-bedded with massive green phlyllites, feebly developed slaty rocks, flaggy tuffaceous materials and amphibolites.

The iron formation bands which vary in thickness from about 3 centimeters to 5 meters are found commonly in groups intercalated within surrounding country rocks or as isolated thin units. The bands have variable strike extent with some stretching though discontinuously for several kilometers.

Three man facies have been identified: They are the oxide, silicate and sulphide facies. The oxide facies which is represented by the silica iron oxide assemblage, is the most wide usually consists of a thinly banded but occasionally slaty rock having a rhythmic alternation of light coloured (light gray) silica rich bands of variable thickness. The silicate facies is quartz-garnet- grunerite assemblage.

The sulphide facies occurs as the pyrite bearing members of the pelitic metasediments which consists of carbonaceous schist and phyllite, green phyllite and slaty rock. These rocks are invariably interbanded with the oxide iron formation.

Iron ore is the raw material smelted to produce pig iron {metallic iron}, which is used to make steel. It is an important industrial metal.

In Nigeria, Opportunities exist in the following section of iron ore mining/processing

1. Mining

2. Processing { Milling and Beneficiation}

3. Transportation

4. Steel Production

5. Sales of mining machineries/ equipment

Obtaining Mining Lease in Nigeria

There are two options available to a company or an individual to enter into the mining industry in Nigeria.

Through the acquisition of an existing mining property from the original owner. Approval must be obtained from the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development for such a purchase.

By obtaining on application, either a Prospecting Right (PR), an Exclusive Prospecting Licence (EPL), or a Special Exclusive Prospecting Licence (SEPL), the application should state financial and technical capability qualifying the applicant for entry into the mining sector.

Incentives / Government Policy on Mining in Nigeria

In order to encourage investment in the solid minerals industry in Nigeria, Government is the offering the following incentives

1. 3-5 years Tax Holiday

2. Deferred royalty payments

3. Possible capitalisation of expenditure on exploration and surveys

4. Extension of infrastructure such as roads and electricity to mining sites, and provision of 100% foreign ownership of mining concerns.

The mining industry in Nigeria is regulated by the The Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act of 2007,National Minerals and Metals Policy 2008 and Nigerian Minerals and Mining Regulations 2011.

The percentage of royalty charged in the mining industry in Nigeria range between 3%- 5%.

Should you require a market research report { Pre-feasibility report, Business Plan or Market Report} on the above subject matter, please do contact the writer.

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