Solid minerals have capacity to provide the all important launching pad for the development of other sectors of the economy as well as give sense and meaning to the oneness of the Nigerian state as minerals are located in all states of the Federation. This will douse the agitation for resource control. It is therefore vital that the nation explores this latent potential which has slumbered over the years.
Solid minerals contributed immensely to the economic development of Nigeria in the pre-independence years. During this period, Nigeria was known for the production of coal as an energy source for electricity, railways and also for export. Tin, Columbite, Lead and Zinc were exported. Nigeria was the largest producer of Columbite at one point. The earnings from solid minerals were used to develop roads, education, hospitals and in fact develop the petroleum industry.
The decline of the solid minerals industry started with the discovery of oil to an extent that Nigeria became a mono product economy and vulnerable to international oil politics. The domineering role of oil did not allow past governments to attend to global challenges that evolved in the development of solid minerals.
The neglect of the minerals industry led to disorder in the mines field with strong presence of illegal miners whose activities are characterized by inefficient mining, illegal trading of highly priced minerals, severe ecological degradation, spread of diseases and huge loss of revenue to the government through smuggling.
On the other hand, Mining continues to play a key role in the development of Africa’s economies. Countries like South Africa, Ghana and Tanzania, remain critically dependent on the earnings of solid minerals. As a result, countries introduced liberal reforms to meet intense competition to attract investment funds. Ghana for example undertook significant reforms both in legal and institutional frame-work and to the general organization of the sector. The result has been growth in mining investment. Tanzania is now a leading destination for exploration funds due to the deliberate government attention to the development of mining. Burkina Faso and Mali have also become strong mining countries.
Following the global economic recession of the late 1980s and early 1990s, developing countries started liberalizing their external trade to improve balance of payment, increase economic growth through the provision of incentives to attract capital in-flow and investment.
The developing countries especially in Africa and Latin America turned to Solid Minerals exploration as a solution to sustained economic growth. Nigeria’s economy which is largely dependent on a mono-product (petroleum) became vulnerable to fluctuations in oil prices with the attendant shocks on the economy.
This informed the Federal Government’s decision to diversify the nation’s economic base from oil to the non-oil sectors including the development of solid minerals resources.
One of such minerals that have been identified for development is tin ore. 10,546 tonnes of which are found in Plateau State; is employed in plating, production of tin oxide used in paint, paper and ink industries, production of tin oxide resistors, electric lead wires and Foraminifera Market Research seeks to expose the investment opportunity in the export of the product through this feasibility report.
The market for tin ore especially the overseas market in China is large, expanding and sustainable because of the numerous uses of tin ore. Buyers usually would like to secure steady source of supply of these products.
An exporter that is able to secure a contract at the right price would have an uphill task meeting the demand of the buyer because the output from the mines in Nigeria is low due to the use of crude implement. You can imagine a situation whereby the daily need of the factory of the buyer is 600/MT and the exporter would struggle to supply 500/MT on a monthly basis.
The return on investment on the export of tin ore is estimated between 10%- 20%.