The mining of solid minerals including Diamond, Gold, Bitumen and Barite in Adamawa by a Swiss firm is to commence in December.
The state Commissioner of Solid Mineral Resources, Ms Shanti Shashi, made this known Saturday in Yola at the 4th Adamawa Community Dialogue organized by an NGO, the Adamawa Community Advancement Initiative (ACAI).
Shashi said the Swiss firm, BTP Swiss Sovereign Asset, and the Adamawa Mining Company would be involved in the mining of seven minerals comprising diamond, gold, zinc, bitumen, barite, uranium and platinum in the state under a three-year agreement.
Shashi said that the state government, which was committed to taping its solid mineral resources, had already acquired 12 mineral exploration licenses from the Federal Government.
While noting the numerous potentials of Adamawa in area of solid mineral resources, Shashi said the state was far ahead of other states in its level of preparation to exploit the resources.
“Adamawa is the most organized state as far as solid minerals is concern. We have gone far in talks with Dangote Group on Guyuk Cement factory,” Shashi said.
She lauded ACAI for organizing stakeholders dialogue with the theme “Adamawa Without Oil Money: Meeting The Challenges of Sustainable Development Through Agriculture and Solid Minerals Resources Development” , which she described as timely and assured the state government commitment to key in.
In his paper, “Economic Diversification through Solid Mineral Resources Development: The Adamawa State Prospects”, Prof. Saidu Baba, lamented the long years neglect of agriculture and solid minerals which used to be the mainstay of the nations economy.
“Why we are in recession is because the money we realized from oil sector was not utilized to develop other sectors like solid minerals and agriculture”, Baba said.
While noting that Adamawa has the mineral potentials to generate revenue, Baba said that SWOT analysis has proven that Adamawa has limestone, coal, gypsum, baryte, clays and granites potentials.
“It is therefore recommended that the state government should consider well-organized and coordinated investments in these minerals, advisably through joint venture programmes as is done in the oil and gas sector.”
In his remarks, the Convener of ACAI, Mallam Bashir Ahmad, said the annual dialogue was meant to serve as a platform for Adamawa citizens to come together and discuss challenges of good governance and sustainable development in the state, with a view to coming up with common terms as to surmounting them.
While noting the current recession and the dwindling monthly allocation from Federation Account, Ahmed said Adamawa, with a population of over three million, needed to diversify if it must meet its obligation to the electorate.
“We must create immediate alternative sources of revenues to fund our developmental programmes since monthly allocation, which comes mainly from oil money, can hardly even pay the monthly salaries,” Ahmad said.