22 September 2008 Lagos – The Federal Government has engaged the services of the British Natural Environmental Council to provide technical assistance for the geochemical mapping of Nigeria, according to a source close to the Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources Project, an arm of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
British Geological Survey (BGS), which is an organ of the British Natural Environment Research Council, will implement the assignment jointly with its Nigerian counterpart and the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA).
A statement from Mr. Clinton A. Oni, Head, Press and Public Relations Unit, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, noted that the project is expected to cover two cells of the Nigerian territory. The bulk of the field geologists will be sourced from within, mainly from the NGSA and the Nigerian Universities in order to create indigenous capacity for geochemical mapping, he said.
At the end of the two year contract with the British Geological Survey Agency, the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency will take over the Geochemical Mapping of the remaining 42 cells, the source said. It also noted the primary beneficiaries of this project which include Mining Investors, NGSA, Nigerian Universities, Research Centers, Exploration Companies and other technical staff of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development as well as other agencies of the Ministry.
The deliverables from this assignment will include Geochemical Maps of the distribution of 47 elements, training of at least 60 geoscientists, development of Geochemical Mapping Manual, Preparation of Work Program and Cost Estimate for Geochemical Mapping of other cells not covered by this contract.
The consultancy package will include training, practical field work, technical advice and supervision. The contractor will also conduct an audit of laboratories in Nigeria and recommend improvement and upgrade where necessary.
The Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources Project (SMMRP), is being implemented by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development with the proceeds of the 120 million dollars credit obtained from the World Bank/IDA by the Federal Government. The development Objectives of the project are to: increase the government’s long-term institutional and technical capacity to mange Nigeria’s mineral resources in a sustainable way.