Abuja, Nigeria: The airborne geo-physical programme not only ranks Nigeria among the countries with active airborne survey in Africa, but considers it the biggest and the best in terms of distance covered and the application of constantly improved technology, said Professor Collins Reeves in his paper titled “Airborne Geo-physical Survey 2005-2010, Data Acquisition Report,”. He further stated that with the completion and the interpretation of the data, effective communication channel should be employed to attract exploration and mining companies, research institutes, neighbouring countries and the outside world.
The airborne geo-physical survey is a fast and cost effective method of geo-physical investigation that is carried out from the space with helicopter or fixed wing aircraft. The method has been employed for geological mapping, mineral investigations, environmental studies and hydro and geo-technical studies and for military purposes also. A high resolution airborne geological survey involves magnetic, radiometric and electromagnetic surveys aimed at assisting and promoting mineral exploration were carried out in Nigeria between 2003 and 2009.
Recently, the minister, Arc Musa Sada, in a press briefing, said that the airborne geo-physics provides improved knowledge of the geology of the country, through the application of new geophysical mapping techniques and the provision of scientific guidelines for the private sector to instigate new mineral exploration programme in Nigeria. The use of the airborne geophysical data among several other things includes its use in mineral exploration, ground water prospecting, pollution and geo-hazard monitoring, generation of digital elevation model (DEM) for detailed information for terrains, vegetations, landforms and drainages. He reiterated that the survey can also be used for security surveillance, land use development planning, and development of physical infrastructures such as roads, railroads, large public structures, water supply and management of other natural capital.
Another feather in the cap of the ministry was recorded recently as the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) presented the geo-chemical mapping of the country. The Nigeria Geo-chemical mapping project was a collaboration effort among the Nigeria Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), the British Geological Survey Agency (BGSA), the Finland Geological Survey and the World Bank, which funded it through the Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources Projects (SMMRP).