Nigeria’s efforts for economic diversification has received a boost with the discovery of coal deposit in commercial quantity in Sokoto State.
The state governor, Aminu Tambuwal, who disclosed this on Monday in Sokoto, the state capital, at a workshop on mining, said a cement company already plans to use the commodity to power its plant in the state.
The discovery has increased the number of solid minerals in the state awaiting exploration. Others earlier discovered include phosphate for making fertilizer, gold, limestone, gypsum, iron ore, copper, columbite, tantalite, zinc and kaolin.
Speaking at the capacity building workshop on Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) for beneficial participation of state governments in mining, jointly organised by the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the Sokoto Ministry of Solid Minerals and Natural Resources Development, Mr. Tambuwal said the state government has already engaged a Chinese company to make research on available mineral resources and determine their commercial viability.
He said the company has presented the first phase of its findings and identified 20 varieties of solid minerals.
On coal, the government said the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN), also known as Sokoto Cement and owned by the BUA Group, plans to use the substance as a source of energy in operating its plant.
“BUA will use coal sourced from Sokoto to fuel the 40MW power plant being constructed at the factory”, BUA founder, Abdussamad Rabiu, told reporters during a recent tour of the factory.
“The new cement plant can use both coal and LPFO (Low Pour Fuel Oil), and will source its power needs from the power plant, with the excess generated power moved to the national grid,” he said.
Mr. Rabiu added that the company’s $300 million investment in the new cement plant is the single largest private sector-led investment in Nigeria’s north-west and has the capacity of producing 1.5million metric tonnes of cement per annum.