• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Solid mineral fund targets increased exploration with remote sensing imagery training

Industry players want Nigeria’s mining sector positioned for economic growth

…aligns with MoU signed with Geoscan GmbH of Berlin

The Nigeria Solid Minerals Development Fund (SMDF) following a signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the GeoScan GmbH of Berlin, Germany during the German Chancellor’s visit in October 2023 has engaged in a one day training of its staff.

A statement by Idowu Jokpeyibo, head corporate communications of SDMF said the training is
part of efforts to advance the exploration and development of Nigerian critical minerals using innovative proprietary technology.

The training workshop Friday was aimed at building the capacity of Nigerian geoscientists on the use of remote sensing technology in geological mapping and mineral exploration, and to ensure that Nigeria fully explore its solid mineral resources and make a substantial contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The GeoScan GmBH possesses cutting-edge technology and capable of exploring mineral deposits up to 10,000 meters below the surface,it stated adding that the technology 80% cheaper than current exploration processes and three times faster in locating underground deposits.

The workshop which was anchored by Neil Pendock, a renowned image processing specialist, said the training would equip participants with knowledge on remote sensing technology, adding that the technology is a cost-saving measure which has been in use by the world’s best known mining nations like Australia, Canada and South Africa.

Pendock said the training would lead to the provision of high-quality geosciences data needed to make Nigeria a global destination of mining investment and save exploration cost.

“Remote Sensing Imagery would also save time compared with the length of time needed when regular exploration methods are used and will place Nigeria at great advantage as it will save the country huge costs in mineral exploration,’ he added.

Pendock with over 40 years’ experience in remote sensing practice said “Remote Sensing Imagery is a more efficient method of mineral exploration that can be used to address Nigeria’s illegal mining challenges, saying that it could remotely pick activity images via satellite. ”

Read also: Solid minerals surpasses previous revenue generation by 59.6%

He believed that Nigeria being a stable democracy with rich mineral resources can compete favourably with other equally mineral rich nations, if only its data can be organized better in a more transparent manner, a feat which he said is readily achievable with the remote sensing technology. He encouraged the Nigerian government to make mining more environmentally friendly to attract investment.

Pendock, emphasized the importance of thermal data in geological mapping, noting that it can help identify mineral deposits undercover and beneath vegetation. “Thermal data is very useful because it works at night when the rocks cool down and release thermal energy, allowing us to detect different minerals, even those that are undercover or beneath vegetation”.

“For example, full reservoir of oil is a thermal insulator. So, at night, if you have a look at an oil field, it will be cooler than the surrounding rocks. And that is because the heat source at night is the core and the mantle of the earth, which is hot. It’s coming up radiating heat. The oil is stopping it”.

“It’s going into space. So, this is also very interesting for Nigeria who is an oil producing country. But it is only going to work on Shore, not in the sea, not in the ocean. And so thermal is very interesting for mapping things undercover, and I will educate you with some examples of thermal data.”, he explained.

He said that many mineral deposits remain undiscovered due to inadequate geological mapping, resulting in lost opportunities for economic growth and development.

Speaking on the essence of the workshop, the Head of Mineral Exploration Department, SMDF, Mr. Kefas Malgwi, said the training is timely and would improve the nation’s exploration activities and enable it discover world-class deposits that would attract investors.

In his words; “what we are trying to do is to enhance technical understanding of exploration target and ensure that we discover more minerals, we want to see how we can improve on exploration data to discover world class deposit to attract investors to the country.”

He explained that the training is part of government efforts to build the capacity of the staff to utilize remote sensing technology in geological mapping and mineral exploration so as to improve the quality of geological data collection and analysis in the country’s solid minerals sector.

He noted that the aim of the geological data collection is to use mining operations as catalysts for community development and job creation as he believed that Remote Sensing Imagery would strategically reposition the country’s data generation system while also addressing other challenges.