As a result of the agreement brokered by the Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr. Alake, in Perth, Australia, on Wednesday, Nigerian professionals in the solid minerals industry will shortly travel to Australia to pursue further education.
On a visit of courtesy, Alake presented the request to Bill Johnston, the Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Energy, Corrective Services, and Industrial Relations of the government of Western Australia. He acknowledged the government’s progress in mineral development.
Alake, who led the Nigerian delegation to the 21st Africa Down Under Mining Conference in Perth, stated that Australia had gained a great deal of knowledge and expertise in developing its modern mining industry, adding that Nigerians would benefit from training, study trips, and exchanges of mineral professionals in its ongoing effort to transform the sector.
Alake stated that the government had launched a plan to attract foreign direct investment by investing in big data on minerals and the quantity of their deposits, establishing a solid minerals corporation, and entering into joint venture agreements with multinational mining corporations to enable the sector to compete internationally.
He informed the minister that Nigeria had extensive reserves of valuable minerals such as lithium, gold, coal, lead, zinc, baryte, and iron ore.
Alake proposed a government-supported programme that would enable Nigerian mining professionals to study modern mining technology and practises in Western Australia.
The Australian minister, Johnston, expressed his appreciation for the visit of the Minister of Solid Minerals and his delegation, adding that the meeting would pave the way for cordial relations.
Accepting the proposal, Johnston stated that the government of Western Australia would support the transfer of knowledge and expertise to Nigerian mining professionals and send mining specialists to Nigeria to impart their expertise.
He urged the minister to submit a formal request as soon as feasible so that they could work together to achieve the objective.
Ambassador Anderson Madubike, Deputy High Commissioner, Mrs. Mercy Clement, Mr.Martins Imonitie, investment banker from ANZ Bank, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Solid Minerals, Dr.Mary Ogbe, Special Adviser to the Minister, Kehinde Bamigbetan, Director, Mining Cadastral Office, Engr.Nkom Obadiah, and Technical Assistant to the Minister, Mrs.Chinemerem Nwaka were present at the meeting.