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Communities to benefit as FG moves to add value to raw salt production, others

The Director-General of the Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Professor Hussaini D. Ibrahim, has said the council, through its Research and Development programme,…

The Director-General of the Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Professor Hussaini D. Ibrahim, has said the council, through its Research and Development programme, has upgraded indigenous processes used by communities in Nassarawa State to add value to raw salt production.

Professor Ibrahim, who spoke in a paper titled ‘Development of Solid Minerals Sector; Panacea to Nigeria’s Economic Diversification Agenda’, said the initiative had also helped in the production of calcined kaolin to replace 40% of imported titanium dioxide in paint making using the kaolin deposit in Alkaleri, in Bauchi State.

“In addition, RMRDC has been able to develop a protocol for producing pharmaceutical grade talc from locally mined ore deposits at Kagara, Niger State. Likewise, the R&D programme has led to the production of ceramic water filter candles and other ceramic products such as tiles, porcelain, china wares, etc. using kaolin, kyanite and quartzite deposits in the country,’’ he added.

The DG noted that Nigeria is endowed with over 34 commercially viable solid mineral deposits spread across the country but regretted that the country is only contributing 15 per cent of all foreign direct investment inflows to Africa because of various unfriendly policies since the Indigenization Decree of 1972.

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He said to reverse the tide, the council, since its inception, recognised the need for the development of  Nigeria’s solid mineral resources for industrial use.

That also informed its collaboration with other relevant MDA’s and the characterization and classification of most of the deposits of minerals in the country. 

“Investment promotion activities and joint venture programmes in collaboration with private sector organisations have resulted in the design, fabrication, and installation of granulated limestone processing plant in Calabar, Cross River State and hydrated lime production plant in Kwakuti, Niger State in collaboration with Bembu Mining and Engineering Services Ltd,’’ he said.

He said collaboration with mandated research institutes, private sector investors and state governments also resulted in the establishment of small-scale plants to process raw materials found in commercial quantities in several localities.

“Some of the projects include the Talc processing Plant in Kagara (Niger), Phosphate Rock Beneficiation plant (Sokoto), Phosphate  Beneficiation Plant, Ifo (Ogun), Kaolin Processing Plant, Gwarzo (Kano), Fertilizer Blending Plant, (Enugu), Granulated Limestone Plant, Calabar, (Cross River), Pharmaceutical Grade Kaolin Plant, Kankara (Katsina), and Integrated Mineral Grinding Plant, Owerri, (Imo).

“These plants have stimulated the emergence of several SMEs,’’ he said.

He said recently, the council established a Technology and Innovation Complex (TIC) at the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) in Abuja to develop practical skills and drive change across local raw materials processing technologies.

The DG said it was becoming increasingly important for the government to promote the establishment of beneficiation plants by investors that are showing interest in solid minerals mining locally, most especially in the metallic minerals subsector.

 

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