Abuja, Oct. 31, 2023: The Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF) and GeoScan GmbH of Berlin, Germany, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on solid mineral development.
Mr Dele Alake, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, made this known at a news conference after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Alake said that the significant agreement was formalised on Sunday during the visit of German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, to Abuja.
He said the partnership with GeoScan GmbH would help Nigeria fully explore its solid mineral resources, which could make a substantial contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He added that the development would align with President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda of positioning solid minerals as a significant economic driver alongside petroleum.
He said the MoU is expected to advance solid minerals exploration, exploitation, and judicious use of revenue accruing to the Federal Government.
The minister said GeoScan GmBH possesses cutting-edge technology capable of exploring mineral deposits up to 10,000 metres below the surface, which is a remarkable advancement in the field of mineral exploration.
Alake, who emphasised the cost-effectiveness of the proprietary technology, said it was 80 per cent cheaper than current exploration processes and three times faster in locating underground deposits.
“The gathering of geodata is very expensive. Now this particular technology, which is top notch, is 80 per cent cheaper than current processes in the world,” Alake said.
Given Nigeria’s vast and unexplored mineral landscape, estimated to be worth US$ 700 billion, the Minister noted that the MoU with GeoScan GmbH presents a significant opportunity for Nigeria.
‘”We constitute about 0.02 per cent of the global mining budget. With the US$700 billion estimation of our solid minerals deposit, we still have over 90 per cent of the entire landscape of Nigeria unexplored.
‘”And because it’s an expensive business, that underscores the significance of a landmark that we recorded on Sunday with the GeoScan GmbH, supported also by the German chancellor and our President.”
He said no kobo was committed on the part of Nigeria, adding that the company would establish its technology and plant in the country.
“Movement around the country will enable us to further explore all the other mineral deposits that we have,” he said.
He pointed out that many critical minerals, essential for the production of electric vehicles, batteries, and other advanced technological equipment, are abundant in Nigeria.
He added that these resources play a crucial role in the global shift toward clean and green energy, aligning with the global trend of addressing climate change.