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Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai is set to commence study on the exploration and utilization potentials of some industrial mineral deposits in parts of North-Central and North-Western Nigeria.

The study which will be carried out in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has IBBU already commissioned for the project.

Speaking at the Management workshop organized to brief critical stakeholders at the commencement of all projects of the University held at IBBU Research Centre, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Muhammad Nasir Maiturare stated that the industrial minerals exploration and characterization project was the second project to be awarded to the University after the University had satisfactorily completed an earlier project on mapping and characterization of some Nigerian coal deposits; the report of which was submitted to the Ministry in December last year.

He commended the efforts of the Federal Government in reviving the mining sector as a catalyst for industrialization and economic growth, and urged other Departments in the University to step up research engagements.

Professor Maiturare expressed appreciations to the former Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Abubakar Bawa Bwari, for the confidence he reposed in the capacity and capability of IBB University as a strategic partner.

In his presentation, the Project Technical Coordinator and the Director of Research of the IBB University, Professor Nuhu Obaje said the new project will concentrate on mapping and characterization of phosphate, limestone and gypsum in Sokoto/Dange and Wurno areas of Sokoto State; clays at Kankara in Katsina State; tantallite, manganese, feldspar, mica around Kontagora and Shikira, as well as marble at Ibeto and talc at Kagara all in Niger State.

He disclosed that the study would map surface and stratigraphic exposures of the selected industrial minerals to decipher their modes of occurrence and lateral extents.

According to him, “It will thereafter conduct detailed geochemical analyses on samples collected as a basis for characterization of the minerals as raw materials for different industries.”

The Director said selected occurrences, after characterization and where necessary, shall proceed further to beneficiation for value addition to meet specifications.

Professor Obaje mentioned that the results from the project are expected to lead to revival of solid mineral mining and establishment of mineral-based industries (Cosmetics, Cement, Paint, Paper, Ceramic, Fertilizer, Electrical/Electronics, Building/Construction materials, etc) and concomitant wealth creation, employment generation, poverty reduction and women and youth empowerment in sustainable physical environments in the North-central and North-western geopolitical regions.

The workshop was attended by Principal Officers and other researchers from the University.