Olamilekan Adegbite
Olamilekan Adegbite

FG commissions two aircraft for mineral deposits survey

NEWS DIGEST – The minister of mines and steel development, Olamilekan Adegbite, has commissioned two aircraft for Airborne Geophysical Survey to determine the quantum of minerals available in 19 states.

Adegbite disclosed this at the inauguration of the aircrafts at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport on Thursday in Abuja.

The survey is expected to be carried out in 19 states including FCT across 121 local government areas.The states include, Kwara, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Ogun, Ebonyi, Enugu, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Kaduna, Niger, Kogi, Taraba, Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Bauchi and the FCT

While inspecting the aircraft, Adegbite said they would be flying at a low altitude of 50 meter above the ground level, about the height of a 15 storey building.

“We have received two special aircraft for now, hopefully two more will be delivered for the survey.”

“The aircraft have special equipment that monitor a certain perimeter of the ground and record information and will be transmitted on the computer for interpretation on mineral data available that can be utilised,” he said.

He further explained that the survey would determine accurate mineral locations using modern day contemporary aeromagnetic mechanisms and can only operate and get accurate information on dry land or season.

“The consultant of the project will only work as the weather dictates, they will not like to work when rain is still falling.”

On financing the project, Adegbite said that the survey would be financed through the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MinDiver) Project, a World Bank assisted Project under the Ministry.

He said that the ministry has visited all affected states including FCT to sensitise people on the project through jingles on radios among others. He also explained that the sensitization was to allay people’s fear especially as the aircrafts would be flying at low altitude.

Adegbite said that the ministry has the approval from State Governors, National Security Adviser and the Nigeria Air force for the aircrafts operations.

John Eyre, international technical adviser of MinDiver, said that the two small yellowish aircraft with sensors would be managed by a pilot each, noting that the aircrafts have electronic sensors that could get data of minerals on the surface of the ground.

He added that Spain, South Africa and some West Africa countries have conducted such surveys.