South Korea expresses interest in Nigeria’s lithium resources

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South Korea expresses interest in Nigeria's lithium resources
South Korea expresses interest in Nigeria's lithium resources

The South Korean government has shown keen interest in Nigeria’s lithium deposits, signaling potential collaboration in the solid minerals sector.

This disclosure came through a statement released on Thursday, signed by Alaba Balogun, the Deputy Director (Information) of Nigeria’s Ministry of Solid Minerals Development.

The engagement between the two nations occurred during the Seventh Korea-Africa Economic Co-operation conference held in Busan, South Korea.

South Korea and Nigeria revisit 2006 MOU

The primary focus of this engagement was to revisit and revise a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) initially established in 2006 between Nigeria and South Korea regarding investments in the solid minerals sector.

Participating in the discussions were representatives from Nigeria, including officials 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 the Korean Mines Rehabilitation and Mineral Resources Corporation.

Dr. Abdulrazaq Garba, the Director-General of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, represented Dr. Dele Alake, the Solid Minerals Minister, during these deliberations.

The proposed revisions to the 2006 MoU encompass several key aspects, including the training of Nigerian mining professionals in various fields such as Geochemistry, Geophysics, Ore Modelling, Mineral Processing, as well as research and exploration of critical minerals like lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, and graphite.

Dr. Pyeong Koo-lee, President of the Korean Institute of Geosciences and Mineral Resources (KIGAM), expressed a willingness to collaborate with Nigeria in exploring the substantial lithium-bearing pegmatites.

He highlighted KIGAM’s advanced technology in lithium ore processing, which could lead to carbon reduction and improved ore grades.

Furthermore, Dr. Alex Kwon, Vice President of the state-owned Korean Mines Rehabilitation and Mineral Resources Corporation (KOMIR), expressed interest in overseas mining investment and emphasized KOMIR’s ability to provide technical and financial assistance for exploration and mining of solid minerals.

The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Ministry of Solid Minerals, has been actively working to attract investors for the exploration of lithium deposits within the country.

In 2022, Dr. Abdulrazaq Garba, the Director-General of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, previously reported that the discovery of high-grade lithium in Nigeria had been drawing the attention of foreign investors.