A Chinese firm that specialises in the exploration of lithium, Landmark Lithium Mining Company, said it is building a lithium factory in Nasarawa State that would produce about 3000 tonnes of the commodity per day at an estimated cost of USD100 million. The company has sited its factory in Nasarawa, headquarters of Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state. Governor Abdullahi Sule, who paid a visit to access the progress of work at the factory site on Friday, expressed satisfaction with the level of work done so far. The governor was, therefore, confident that the factory would certainly give a boost to the industrialization drive of his administration.
Explaining further, he said his government would do all in its power to encourage the Chinese firm to get started with lithium mining in the state, which is reported to hold the largest deposit of lithium in the North Central region. He said that he is relieved to see that this is the kind of progress that has been promised for industrialization in Nasarawa State. Similarly to the oil industry, he explained that they have been discussing it for decades.
The state houses a large amount of the resource.
It’s no secret that lithium is one of the most sought-after and highly valued minerals on the global market right now. The price has increased by more than a factor of ten since then. It is what people are using to create batteries, whether they be solar batteries or even car batteries. Lithium deposits in the State are said to be the largest in all of North Central Nigeria. He noted that while Kwara, Niger, and Kogi also contain the resources in large quantities, the commercial quantity is greatest in Nasarawa State.
More so, he went on to say that the company’s investment was beneficial to the state’s industrialization efforts because the Chinese firm had been encouraged to do more than just begin mining; it had also been urged to build a factory and pursue a value chain addition by making finished products there rather than shipping it raw out of the state. It can process 3,000 metric tonnes of lithium per day, representing over a million tonnes annually. For the production side, the 3000 by is multiplied by 28 days or 12 months, based on whether they work a 24 hour, 16 hour, or 12 hour shift.
Necessary arrangements are made to alleviate mining effects.
He visited the location and was satisfied with the progress thus far. In addition, out of the roughly 500 employees, only 50 are Chinese. The rest are all Nigerians. That’s 10 times as many as the current Chinese workforce, he added. Because several pits will be dug once the lithium is extracted from the earth, the governor said that the Chinese company had made necessary arrangements to care for the ecology and preserve the mining region from damage. Therefore, it is necessary to recover these pits to prevent further damage to the ecosystem. Additionally, he went to the dam where the waste materials and water would be deposited.
According to him, most Nigerians lack the knowledge necessary to participate in commercial mining operations, and even those who do have the financial resources to do so often lack the requisite expertise. Because of this, many still believe that those without sufficient financial means are the ones conducting the mining operations. He visited one of the locations and stated the hole was 60 metres deep; they wanted to dig it to a depth of 200 metres. This requires both specialized technology and expert understanding.
Many Nigerians will benefit from the company’s growth.
However, the Governor is optimistic that Nasarawa State residents would gain the expertise, technology, and information essential for commercial mining as a result of the Chinese mining company’s recruitment efforts inside the state. When the factory’s workforce reaches the thousands, it’s possible that just 10% of workers will be foreign nationals. He speculated that only Nigerians, particularly those from Nasarawa State, would be hired for the positions. He went on to say that the towns and the state stand to gain economically from the effort, in addition to the knowledge.