The Nigerian solid mineral sector, particularly Lithium, has attracted businesses and investors from South Korea, leading to the revising of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) once signed by the two countries in 2006.
In a statement signed by the Deputy Director (Information) of Nigeria’s Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Alaba Balogun, Nigeria had recently engaged the South Korean at the Seventh Korea-Africa Economic Co-operation conference in Busan, South Korea, to revisit the 2006 MoU.
The statement reads:
“The proposed revision to the 2006 MoU, include training of Nigerian mining professionals in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Ore Modelling, Mineral Processing, research, and exploration of critical minerals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and graphite.
“KIGAM president, Dr. Pyeong Koo-lee, offered to collaborate with Nigeria to explore the large deposits of lithium-bearing pegmatites.
“He said KIGAM has the best technology in lithium ore processing, adding that the beneficiation process can reduce the carbon to improve the grade of the ore.
“Vice President of the state-owned KOMIR, Dr Alex Kwon, expressed interest in overseas mining investment, adding that KOMIR provides technical and financial assistance and investment in the exploration and mining of solid minerals.”
The Nigerian team at the MoU signing comprises of the Minister for Solid Minerals, Dr. Dele Alake, represented by DG, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, Dr Abdulrazaq Garba, officials of the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development and Oando Mining Company, while the Korean Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources and Korean Mines Rehabilitation and Mineral Resources Corporation represented South Korea.
Recall that President Tinubu led administration is largely focused on attracting foreign investors into the country and the Solid Mineral Industry is seems to be in that boat as the high grade of lithium deposit in the country has been attracting foreign businesses since 2022.
‘Lithium is a chemical element with the symbol Li and atomic number 3. It is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal.
‘It is a mood stabilising medicine used to treat certain mental illnesses, such as: mania (feeling highly excited, overactive or distracted) hypomania (like mania, but less severe) bipolar disorder, where your mood changes between feeling very high (mania) and very low (depression).
‘Lithium and its compounds have several industrial applications, including heat-resistant glass and ceramics, lithium grease lubricants, flux additives for iron, steel and aluminium production, lithium metal batteries, and lithium-ion batteries. These uses consume more than three-quarters of lithium production.’