The South Korean government has indicated interest in Nigeria’s lithium deposits, according to a statement on Thursday.
The statement signed by the Deputy Director (Information) of Nigeria’s Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, Alaba Balogun, disclosed that the Nigerian government had engaged the South Korean government at the Seventh Korea-Africa Economic Co-operation conference in Busan, South Korea.
According to the statement, the engagement focused on revising a 2006 Memorandum of Understanding between Nigeria and South Korea on investments in the solid minerals sector.
The statement noted that the Nigerian team comprised officials of the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development and Oando Mining Company, while the Korean Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources and Korean Mines Rehabilitation and Mineral Resources Corporation represented South Korea.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, Dr Abdulrazaq Garba, represented the Solid Minerals Minister, Dr Dele Alake
It stated that the proposed revision to the 2006 MoU “include training of Nigerian mining professionals in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Ore Modelling, Mineral Processing, research, and exploration of critical minerals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and graphite.”
The statement added, “KIGAM president, Dr. Pyeong Koo-lee, offered to collaborate with Nigeria to explore the large deposits of lithium-bearing pegmatites.
“He said KIGAM has the best technology in lithium ore processing, adding that the beneficiation process can reduce the carbon to improve the grade of the ore.
“Vice President of the state-owned KOMIR, Dr Alex Kwon, expressed interest in overseas mining investment, adding that KOMIR provides technical and financial assistance and investment in the exploration and mining of solid minerals.”
Media earlier reported that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Solid Minerals, had made efforts to attract investors to explore lithium deposits in the country.
In 2022, the Director-General, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, Dr Abdulrazaq Garba, told journalists that high-grade lithium discovered in Nigeria had been attracting foreign investors.