The South Korean government has expressed keen interest in Nigeria’s lithium reserves, as per an official announcement made on Thursday.
This announcement, bearing the signature of Alaba Balogun, the Deputy Director (Information) of Nigeria’s Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, reveals that Nigeria’s engagement with South Korea took place during the Seventh Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation conference in Busan, South Korea.
According to the statement, Nigeria’s delegation consisted of representatives from the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development and Oando Mining Company, while South Korea was represented by the Korean Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources and Korean Mines Rehabilitation and Mineral Resources Corporation. Dr. Abdulrazaq Garba, the Director-General of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, acted on behalf of Nigeria’s Solid Minerals Minister, Dr. Dele Alake.
The statement outlines the proposed revisions to the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which encompass various aspects, including the training of Nigerian mining professionals in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Ore Modelling, Mineral Processing, and the research and exploration of critical minerals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and graphite.
Furthermore, Dr. Pyeong Koo-lee, the President of KIGAM, expressed a willingness to collaborate with Nigeria in the exploration of substantial lithium-bearing pegmatite deposits, highlighting KIGAM’s cutting-edge technology in lithium ore processing. He also emphasized that their beneficiation process could reduce carbon emissions and enhance ore quality.
Dr. Alex Kwon, the Vice President of the state-owned KOMIR, also expressed interest in foreign mining investments, emphasizing KOMIR’s role in providing technical and financial support for exploration and mining activities related to solid minerals.
The statement underscores the Federal Government’s ongoing efforts, facilitated through the Ministry of Solid Minerals, to attract investors for the exploration of lithium deposits in Nigeria. In 2022, Dr. Abdulrazaq Garba, the Director-General of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, had informed the media about the significant foreign investor interest in Nigeria’s high-grade lithium discoveries.