The demand for manganese (Mn) has continued to soar in Nigeria as the country strives to put the country among top mining destinations in Africa.
Minister of State Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari gave this hint recently in Abuja.
Speaking at the presentation of letter of participation in research development to representatives of some of Nigerians foremost Universities at MMSD headquarters in Abuja, Hon Bwari said even though the mineral resource is not top on the government’s priority, the demand for it have continued to increase daily.
He said: “Just yesterday (last Wednesday) we received request of manganese.
“This is not one of the minerals that we are targeting but the request has been so consistent that yesterday we had a long meeting with some of our reliable enthusiast who want to buy our manganese but the quantity is not just there.
“And this morning (last Thursday) too I received a phone call of request for 3, 000 tonnes worth of manganese every month and I had to explain that just yesterday we are still trying to meet one request.
He therefore urge investors to go into mining of some of these mineral resources to boost the economic growth of the country.
“I want to say here that from what has been happening in the last two and half years, Nigeria in terms of mining is on the lips of investors…but we all know that we still have challenges.
“Challenges of infrastructure, challenges of information available and other challenges of safety. We have traveled far and near and we know the limitations in this sector especially from our International investor” but the country have continued to inject life into the mining ecosystem.
According to him, N12. 7 billion has been approved in the 2018 budget for exploration purposes to further boost the mining sector.
“I want to announce that just yesterday (last Wednesday) N12.7 billion was approved for exploration.
“Two months ago, we finally secured the electromagnetic data that had been in the hands of the contractor for about a decade.
“This has further made the Nigeria mining jurisdiction more attractive for investors who require as much information as they could get in order to make decisions,” he said.
When it comes to natural mineral deposits, Nigeria is one of the top African countries that is richly blessed and with most of the mineral deposit yet untapped.
Manganese is deposited in the following states in Nigeria: Plateau, Cross River, Adamawa, Kaduna, Kebbi, Katsina,Nasarawa, Borno, Bauchi and Benue.
According to reports, manganese is 12th most abundant elements on earth crust. It is a metal with a silvery-grey colour like that of an iron. it’s brittle, hard, tarnishes slowly in air and oxidizes.
Due to its brittle nature, it is used as alloys in stainless steels. It’s also used in dry cell batteries.
Drinks cans are made of an alloy of aluminium with 1.5% manganese, to improve resistance to corrosion.
The demand of Manganese in Nigeria continues to rise for it is mostly used in the steel industries because of its physical and chemical properties.