The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, has said that the Airborne Geophysical Survey activities would aid more investments in the Nigerian mining sector.
Adegbite made the disclosure while he was inspecting two aircrafts at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, which have been earmarked to be used for Airborne Geophysical Survey Activities on Thursday.
The survey is meant to determine the accurate mineral locations using modern-day contemporary magnetic and radiometric methods.
What the Minister is saying
The Minister explained that the survey was critical to de-risking the sector thus making it attractive to both local and foreign investors, adding that the development would ultimately lead to more job creations and increased revenue for government.
He said, “The data gleaned from this survey will make our mining sector more attractive thus spurring both foreign and local businessmen to invest in the sector, which would create jobs, increase government revenue and spur infrastructural development.”
The minister equally observed that country had a lot to gain from the survey, explaining that the benefits from the survey would transcend the mining sector into other spheres of the economy.
“The Country as a whole would benefit immensely from the data we are generating as geological information is useful for decision-making in a wide range of activities such as the construction of infrastructure projects, the development, sustainable use and protection of groundwater and environmental impact assessments amongst other uses,” he added.
Adegbite, equally advised the general public in the States and Local Governments that would be covered by this survey not to panic either as a result of the loud noise of the aircraft due to the low flying altitude maintained by the aircraft or the pattern of movement of the aircraft.
“I can assure you that the planes would be flown by experienced pilots and there is actually nothing to be afraid of. The flights are planned and there is nothing to be afraid of,” he said.
The Project Co-coordinator, MINDIVER, Salim Salaam said that the survey would cover 19 States of the federation covering 112 Local Government Areas in order to determine accurate mineral locations using modern-day contemporary aeromagnetic mechanisms.
Salaam noted the country had a lot to benefit from the survey. “We need to have this data to be able to attract investors into the country and once this investment comes, it would create jobs and increase government revenue.”
What you should know about the survey
The survey will be measuring minor variations in the earth’s magnetic fields and gamma radiations in the soil. It is a passive technique that does not involve sending out any signals or sound waves into the ground and therefore remains a very safe aerial survey.
The aircraft would be flown over regions in north-western, western and eastern Nigeria that display the highest potential for locating economic mineral deposits. The survey will cover 173,000 km2, acquiring some 1,360,000 line-km of geophysical data acquisition on survey lines spaced 150 m apart.
The survey is similar to the previous ones that took place between 2003 – 2007 and 2009– 2011 which was conducted over the entire country but remained largely unnoticed by most Nigerians. This current survey is of high resolution expected to return more details and information on geology that could lead to the discovery of several minerals due to improvement in technology and advancement in knowledge.
The survey is conducted by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, MMSD, through the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MINDIVER) Project, a World Bank assisted Project under the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.