Discoveries could transform Nigeria

NIGERIA'S ambitious plans to expand its non-fuel minerals sector are becoming more deeply meshed with the country’s strategic industry development agenda, Minister of State Abubakar Bawa Bwari has told MNN, as the Muhammadu Buhari government tries to build real long-term prosperity and jobs for the massive youth element of a population that could be the world’s fourth largest by 2050.

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Symbol Mining's 60%-owned Macy zinc-lead-silver operation in Nigeria’s Benue Trough

Bawa Bwari said in an interview on the sidelines of the recent Africa Downunder conference in Perth, increased recognition of Nigeria's latent mineral endowment - inside and outside the country - and fresh exploration successes, continued to open up wider industry development possibilities.

The potentially highly significant Titan nickel find by Australia's Comet Minerals, for example, was "to us … a pleasant surprise", the minister of state for solid minerals said, that fed hopes for development of local stainless steel production to support wider economic change.

"Nickel was not one of the targeted minerals" in the formative economic blueprint of the government as it set out to diversify Nigeria's oil-dependent economic base, boost government revenues, and "c...