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Nigeria Set to Produce 4,000 Metric Tonnes of Lithium Per Day – Shettima



Nigeria is poised to produce 4,000 tonnes of lithium per day, Vice-President Kashim Shettima, said on Monday in Abuja.

Declaring open a two-day roundtable on Sustainable Development of Nigeria’s Mining Sector, Shettima said President Bola Tinubu would soon inaugurate Nigeria`s largest lithium factory capable of processing 4,000 metric tonnes of lithium per day.

He noted that the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake performed a ground-breaking ceremony for the Lithium factory in Nasarawa in 2023 to produce 18,000 metric tonnes of lithium per day.

Shettima said that more lithium sites were being discovered across the country.

Lithium is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal. It is the least dense solid element and is a critical solid mineral in the global energy transition.

It is currently mined in Nasarawa, Kogi, Kwara, Ekiti and Cross River states.

The vice-president commended Alake for the reforms he had brought to the solid minerals sector particularly his plan to sanitise and reposition the sector to boost Nigeria’s economic profile.

He also commended the minister for making the sector public and private sectors-driven, adding that the approach would open up the sector for opportunities and fast-track its development.

Shettima was represented at the roundtable by Nasarawa’s Gov. Abdullahi Sule,

Speaking at the event, Alake said the ministry’s seven-point agenda was in line with President Tinubu’s commitment to diversify Nigeria’s economy.

He said that one of the ministry’s critical seven-point agenda was the emphasis placed on local value addition through policies that promoted the processing of raw minerals because of the economic multiplier effects.

He thanked the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, near Jos, for organising the summit.

Alake said the development of the solid minerals sector required collective responsibility by all stakeholders to make it a key contributor to national economy.

He noted that the roundtable would enrich the analysis of the sector and its recommendations would guide the Executive arm of government in decision-making.

“NIPSS deserves commendation for prioritising the mining sector and in appreciating the strategic value the president placed on diversifying the nation’s economy,’’ he said.

Alake said also that a dual-pronged approach, combining coercive and persuasive methods, was employed to combat illegal mining and to attract foreign direct investment to the sector.

He explained that the persuasive measure entailed formalising artisanal and illegal miners into cooperatives and that 150 of such cooperatives had been registered so far.

The minister said the coercive method involved the establishment of a Mining Marshal Corps deployed across the country to secure mining environments.

He stressed the importance of geoscience data in providing investors with information on the location and quantity of minerals, among others, to help them to “de-risk’’ investments.

Alake said that a preliminary survey by a German company revealed an estimated 750 billion dollars’ worth of solid minerals in the belly of Nigeria.

Earlier, the Director-General of NIPSS, Prof. Ayo Omotayo, said the roundtable aimed at charting a way forward to deliver a diversified economy and to formulate policies to advance the mining sector. NIPPS organised the roundtable in collaboration with a consulting firm. (NAN)

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