Abuja – The Ministry of Solid Mineral Development on Tuesday said 44 different types of minerals had been discovered in 500 locations across the country.
Mr Sanusi Jubril, Head of Mineral and Metal Promotion Centre of the ministry, announced this in an interview in Abuja.
Jubril said the minerals could be used for industrial and domestic purposes, adding that more would soon be discovered as research continued.
According to him, Nigeria is blessed with coppers that can be used for electrical appliances.
“We have the rare minerals mainly used for high-tech and they are available in abundance in Nasarawa, Zamfara, among others.
“We have kaolin deposit across the country in abundance for industrial use; it is used for the production of papers, paints, rubbers, drugs, tyres and pen, among others.
“Gypsum is also a mineral meant for industrial use such as building plaster, prefabricated wallboard, cement manufacture and for agriculture.
“We have limestone, coal, lithium, platinum, granite and gold, among others,’’ he said.
He said that coal could be converted to coal-briquette to warm the rooms during harmatan and could also be used for cooking, adding that it could generate heat higher than charcoal.
“Coal briquette is environmental friendly; it does not suffocate, smoke and it generates heat higher than charcoal.’’
He said all the minerals could boost the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria since President Muhammadu Buhari had planned to diversify Nigeria from crude oil to solid mineral.
On Ajaokuta steel industry, he said it was the largest in Africa and could be revived because the size, population of Nigeria and its developmental stage needed huge consumption of steel.
“ With the size and population of Nigeria and being the largest economy in Africa, we have no choice but to revive all our steel industries.
“We have a comparative advantage within the West Africa sub region, if Ajaokuta steel company comes on board it will meet domestic needs and will exploit Africa sub regional market.’’
He, however, said the measure of industrial and developmental progress of any country depended on its level of steel industry.
He assured Nigerians that the two ministers deployed to the Ministry of Solid Mineral Development came with wealth of experience and would move the nation forward through the sector.
He said the ministry already had a road map and strategies for the development of the sector, adding that it would serve as guide for them to work with.