Dayo Johnson Akure
IN a bid to unlock and determine the accurate deposits of mineral resources across the country, the Federal government is set to embark on an Airborne Geophysical Survey Activity in 19 States of the federation.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Hon. Olamilekan Adegbite said this in Akure, Ondo state capital during the Flag off exercise of the Sensitisation Programme in the South West.
The Minister who spoke through the Project Coordinator of Mindiver (World Bank) Project, Engr. Sallim Salaam, said the exercise will cover 112 local government areas across the country, saying it is to determine accurate mineral locations using modern day contemporary aeromagnetic mechanism.
Adegbite listed the states to be covered by the survey to include: Kwara, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Ogun and Ebonyi. Others are Enugu, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Kaduna, Niger, Kogi, Taraba, Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Bauchi and the FCT.
He however urged member of the public not the states and Local Governments that would be covered by this survey not to panic because of the “either as a result of the loud noise of the aircraft due to the low flying altitude maintained by the aircraft or the pattern of movement of the aircraft”
According to him the information like this became necessary because of the current security situation in the country so that people do not get misinformed and entertain unnecessary fears that may lead to tension in the society.
He pointed out that the survey would be carried out through the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MINDIVER) Project, a World Bank assisted Project under the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
Adegbite explained that the survey areas were chosen based on the outcome of the previous survey guided by geological consideration
” The survey will be measuring minor variations in the earth’s magnetic fields and gamma radiations in the soil.
“It is a passive technique that does not involve sending out any signals or sound waves into the ground and therefore remains a very safe aerial survey”
He said that the survey is similar to the previous ones that took place between 2003 – 2007 and 2009 – 2011 which was conducted over the entire country but remained largely unnoticed by most Nigerians.
“This current survey is of high resolution expected to return more details and information on geology that could lead to the discovery of several minerals due to improvement in technology and advancement in knowledge.
“It is slated to start this June 2021 and will run through a period of about eight months but less than a month over a state, depending on weather conditions” he said
He added that the airborne survey activity will kick off from the Ilorin Airport in Kwara State, and that the MinDiver Project is involved in the Airborne Magrad Survey to assist the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in implementing the road-map for the growth and development of the nation’s mineral resources which had identified lack of adequate geosciences data among other things as constituting huge gap towards attracting investments in the sector.
Adegbite noted that in order to close the huge gap identified in the Ministry’s roadmap militating against investment in mineral resources, the MinDiver Project engaged the services of a South African based company, Xcalibur Airborne Surveys to conduct the higher resolution Airborne MagRad Surveys of selected areas under Proof of Concepts.
He noted that ” these are areas with active mineral titles to help build comprehensive geological knowledge of the areas in order to and assist the owners of the titles with credible data for further exploration”