The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, has approved 499 licences for the buying and selling of solid minerals in Nigeria in 2023.
This development was revealed by the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, during his address as the keynote speaker at the BusinessDay Solid Minerals Conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
“The Ministry continues to facilitate the processing of applications for permits to refine minerals and to process and purchase them. Last year, no fewer than 499 licences were granted to applicants involved in the business of purchasing and sales of minerals,” he said.
“Predictably, applications for the purchase and sale of lithium topped the list with 146 licences, followed by gold (91), tin (46) and coal (32). Other minerals for which licences were granted include tantalite, iron ore, kaolin, feldspar, beryl, baryte, columbite, mica and aquamarine.”
He also disclosed that the Federal Government plans to hold about 25 per cent of the N1 billion share capital of the Nigerian Solid Minerals Corporation.
He added that the process of creating the legislation for the institution has begun.
Alake also said that Nigerian citizens will, by public shares, hold 25 per cent and private investors can acquire up to 10 per cent of the remaining shares.
He said: “Central to our efforts to reposition the sector is the establishment of a private-sector-driven Nigerian Solid Minerals Corporation. This is as the minister noted that the process of creating the legislation for the institution has begun. On February 12 and 13, 2024, the Solid Minerals Committee of the House of Representatives will hold the first policy dialogue on the proposed law to create the corporation.
“In working with the legislature to establish the legal and legitimate foundation for the institution, our resolve to ensure that a share structure in line with a private sector-led strategy in which the Federal Government will hold not more than 25 per cent, the Nigerian citizens will, by public shares, hold 25 per cent and private investors, each with a maximum of 10 per cent of the shares of the N1 billion share capital, will be achieved.”