Nigeria may be on its ways to generate a new cash cow and an alternative to crude oil with the discovery of world class and high-grade nickel in the country.
The Ministry of Solid Minerals Development has confirmed the development.
But the Ministry also appealed to Nigerians to be patient and allow it to come up with a detailed report on the discovery of Nickel in Kaduna State.
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Mohammed Abbas, said since the first discovery many months ago, technical experts from the ministry have been following up on the development as provided by law.
“The ministry is aware of the excitement in the media about the discovery of Nickel in parts of Kaduna state.
“This is totally understandable considering the partial assay of the mineral assets referenced.
“The ministry is aware of the occurrence of the mineral in the area.
“We appeal to the general public to allow the Ministry to come up with detailed reports on the new find,” it said.
An Australian private mining syndicate headed by Mr Hugh Morgan, a mining veteran made the discovery, which it said, was potentially of high quality,
The Australian which first reported it said the discovery is unusual because the nickel is found in small balls up to 3mm in diameter of high purity in shallow soils.
It said the discovery could be the surface expression of a much bigger hard-rock nickel field.
Nickel, a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge, sells for about $4.43/LB in the international markets. It is used in the manufacture of several steel/metal based items including coins and alloy based products.
Some of the world’s largest producers of the metal include Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Indonesia, Canada and China.
The Minister for Solid Minerals Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi has amplified Nigeria’s intention to grow its mining sector by attracting billions of dollars in new investments
Earlier this month, he told Bloomberg that about $US5 billion would jump-start the sector. “In two to five years, we would have started production of iron ore, lead, zinc, bitumen, nickel, coal and gold on a serious scale,” he added.
The ‘high grade’ nickel deposit was found in Dangoma, a small farming community about 160km northeast of the nation’s capital Abuja.