AS focus shifts to solid minerals development by the Tinubu-led administration, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake, yesterday, disclosed that the Nigeria and South Korea are exploring 2006 Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, as talks have been reopened in that regard. Alake who was represented by the Director General, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, NGSA, Dr Abdulrazaq Garba, led the Nigerian delegation to South Korea under the auspices of the Seventh Korea-Africa Economic Co-operation conference in Busan, South Korea said review of the 2006 MoU is to include training of Nigerian mining professionals in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Ore Modelling, Mineral Processing, research, and exploration of critical minerals. This was contained in a statement signed by the Head, Information, Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Alaba Balogun.
According to the statement, the talks were basically on revising the MoU between Nigeria and South Korea on investments in solid minerals sector, and that was the crux of the discussion between both countries’ public and private sector officials and the South Korean government recently. The statement also made it known that the Nigerian delegation comprised officials of the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, and Oando Mining Company, while the Korean Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources, KIGAM, and Korean Mines Rehabilitation and Mineral Resources Corporation, KOMIR, represented South Korea. “The talks held under the auspices of the Seventh Korea-Africa Economic Co-operation conference in Busan, South Korea, resolved to review a 2006 Memorandum of Understanding to 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”, the statement added.
Meanwhile, the leader of the South Korean team and KIGAM President, Dr Pyeong Koo-lee, expressed interest in Nigeria’s lithium, therefore offered to collaborate with Nigeria to explore the large deposits of lithium-bearing pegmatites. According to Koo-lee, 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. Also, the 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. Meanwhile, Kwon made it known that KOMIR partners private sector to invest in the global mining industry.