NATIONAL INTEGRATED MINERAL EXPLORATION PROJECT (NIMEP)

“YOU ARE WHAT YOU ARE TODAY BECAUSE OF THE CHOICES YOU MADE YESTERDAY, AND THE CHOICES YOU MAKE TODAY WILL MAKE YOU WHAT YOU ARE TOMORROW … NATIONS decide the best course of actions that will enable THEM achieve THEIR national objectives” -MICHAEL JOSEPHSON

Exploration of mineral deposits is a highly risky and costly venture. The risks include geological and mineral investigation (geological mapping, geophysical and geochemical surveys) costs, drilling costs, the risk of dry holes or failure to find quantities (at the time of exploration) suitable enough for consideration for exploitation or for commercial consideration. These risks (in addition to country specific ones such as security of tenure, safety, access to land, local health etc.) are limiting factors in the development of mining sector of a country.

To put a country in a competitive position to attract investors, countries usually take on the first line of risks, especially geological and mineral exploration risks.

Reducing geological and mineral exploration risks is the responsibility of national geoscience organisations such as the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency.

The NATIONAL INTEGRATED MINERAL EXPLORATION PROGRAMME

NIMEP is a conscious effort by Federal Government of Nigeria to carry out integrated exploration to reduce risk to the mining investor and provide geoscience data. The programme in its design took advantage of the known metallogenic belts in the country and ensured the use deep information, knowledge and skills residing in the government institution for the execution.

The objectives of the National Integrated Mineral Exploration Programme are to:

  1. Reduce the risk to the mineral investor, of finding mineral quantities for commercial considerations; and
  2. Bring up data, information and knowledge of the nature and type of mineral occurrence/associations existing in the locations of investigation (both greenfield and brownfield) – it is right and correct for a nation to know what is within its borders.
  3. Spur the desired investment into the sector to generate foreign exchange, substitute for import, develop local industries, generate employment, and create wealth along the mineral value chain.

The Geological Setting of Nigeria

Nigeria is within the Trans-Saharan Mobile Belt, a Pan-African orogenic belt which comprises reworked Archaean and possibly Paleoproterozoic crust and bounded to the west by the >2 Ga West African Craton and to the east and south east by the East Saharan Craton and the Congo Craton respectively.

The Nigerian Shield is a granite–gneiss dominated terrane characterised by two domains; the Western and Eastern Nigerian shields. These are discriminated by distinct litho-structural and metallogenic associations. The Western Domain comprises a volcano-sedimentary cover sequence collectively referred to as the Schist Belts. These represent relatively low grade supracrustal sequences (which include clastic and chemical sediments and volcanic units) entrained within the migmatitic gneissic basement sequence.

The Schist Belts are spatially associated with crustal-scale, late-tectonic, NNE – SSW trending shear zones which transect the country. These structures represent the last significant deformation to have occurred in the Pan-African event and deform the youngest (600–580 Ma) Older Granite suites.

Late tectonic strain localisation along these regional crustal scale shear zones is characterised by an apparent dextral displacement and were the primary structural controls for much of the gold vein mineralisation, the emplacement of Ni-Cr-Co-PGE intrusive complexes and late stage emplacement of mineralised pegmatites.

Subsequent Jurassic – Cretaceous trans-tensional rifting was associated with the early emplacement of tin bearing granites in the Eastern Nigerian Shield and the development of the Benue Trough. A late transpressional reactivation was accompanied by intra basin structurally hosted zinc-lead-copper-barite base metal mineralisation.

Lot A1

Pb-Cu, Au Ag, PGM, Ni-Cr-Co

Lot A2

Rare Metals

Lot A3

Pb, Ag, Zn

Lot A4

Barytes

Lot A5

Fe

 
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