FG invests N15b in mineral exploration

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The Federal Government has so far invested about N15 billion into the National Integrated Mineral Exploration (NIMEP) programme, Minister Mines and Steel , Arc Olamilekan Adegbite, said yesterday.
The minister said gold had been discovered along the -Nasarawa axis through the NIMEP programme undertaken by the ministry. He added that the , which had cost the ministry N15 billion, had generated many geoscience data that had foreign investors excited about the juicy mining prospects in the country.
Adegbite spoke during the visit the Nasarawa , Eng. Abdullahi Sule, to the Ministry. He said the visit shouldn’t be a surprise because Nasarawa is the home solid minerals in the country. Besides, he said the ministry had had an earlier discussion about recent discoveries precious minerals along the Nasarawa, axis.
“As you are probably aware, we have been talking about this for a while. There is a programme we call NIMEP executed by the ministry were government has put about N15 billion into exploration for minerals, one of which is gold, and we have done this exploration over the country and have discovered a very nice track of gold deposits especially between and Nasarawa were we share ,” Adegbite said.
While assuring the of the ministry’ intention to develop the mineral in the , he, however, said the ministry has resolved to avoid a repeat of the Zamfara experience in Nasarawa , in which were largely in charge of the gold mining in that .
Adegbite equally allayed the concerns of the government about the menace of illegal gold mining snowballing in the due to the large deposits of gold in the . He said the ministry was working relevant security agencies to avert such an unwanted scenario happening.
“‘We know that gold mining attracts a lot of undesirables. Wherever this smell gold, if I may use the word smell, whenever they have inkling that there is gold, it somehow attracts these undesirable elements.
“It always follows that we have illegality developing around there. However, we are working hard to nip these in the bud. We don’t want banditry to come to Nasarawa and Abuja on the trail of gold as it has unfortunately happened in Zamfara,” the minister said.
He added that the Federal Government had reiterated its ban on gold mining in Zamfara due to banditry. “Mining was actually banned in Zamfara in April 2019, and about a few weeks ago government had to reiterate that ban and also had to declare a no fly zone. So, we do want a repeat of that in ,” he said.
He added that the ministry had a special mines police that was saddled curbing the menace of illegal mining in the country.