- Geochronology will help to define, understand Nigeria’s unique mineral system, says JORC-certified geologist, Dr. Warwick Crowe
In order to define and understand Nigeria’s unique mineral system toward generating reliable geosciences data on Nigeria, the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) has commenced the training of its geologists and other relevant staff on geochronology, a scientific system by which the age of rocks, fossils and sediments are determined using signatures inherent in the rock samples.
Director-General of the Agency, Dr. Abdulrazaq Garba who was represented at the Geochronology Workshop and Rock Samples Selection exercise by the Director, National Geoscience Information Centre (NGIC) of the NGSA, Mrs. Bola Akinwande explained that geochronology is the age-dating of rocks and minerals, adding that when the age of a rock is known, it becomes easy to determine the kind of mineralization that could be found in the geographical location.
According to the Director-General, the effort of the NGSA to deploy geochronology in geosciences research and data generation has been worthwhile and will impact the mineral sector, noting that the effort is yielding desired results. Dr. Garba said staff will be equipped with the knowledge needed to effectively deploy geochronology for the pursuit and realization of set goals.
It could be recalled that in May 2021, THE TRUTH exclusively reported that as part of research and modern data generation strategy, the NGSA established Development Partnership with a Research Centre in Curtin University, Western Australia, on Age dating of Rocks and Minerals in Nigeria. The collaboration on geochronology aimed to deploy modern methods in geosciences research to the development of the Nigerian solid mineral sector.
He explained that the ongoing training of relevant staff of the NGSA on geochronology is one of the ways it will maximize the deliverables of the Agency’s Development Partnership with the Australian University.
In continuation of its collaboration with Curtain University, the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency further selected the first set of rock samples from Nigeria that would be sent to Australia for geochronological analysis, a system that will enable the agency determine mineralization of respective regions of Nigeria through the age-dating of the rock samples.
Discussing the source of the rock samples collected for geochronological analysis, the Director-General explained that the Agency targeted both altered and unaltered rocks, stating: “We collected the first set of samples from the North Central shield, while we collected the second set from the South Western shield,” and commended Dr. Warwick Crowe for helping to delineate the areas to sample.
The Director-General, who disclosed that the team of experts travelled across the country to collect rock samples, said the final selections of the samples are scheduled for today. “Now, we will select the samples that we will send to our partners in Australia, for age dating,” the Director General said.
The Director-General commended the members of the NGSA Geochronology Team for their commitment to set goals, stating that their efforts have been vital to generating the data sets needed to develop the nation’s solid mineral resources.
While noting that the NGSA Geochronology Project is one of the maiden projects of the Dr. Garba Abdulrazq-led management of the NGSA, the Director, NGIC, Mrs Bola Akinwande said the foresight will do much to facilitate the realization of the mandate of the agency while developing the sector and diversifying the economy.
JORC-certified Geologist who is Chief Geologist, Titan Minerals, Dr. Warwick Crowe commended the NGSA for its efforts to deploy geochronology in Nigeria, stating that it will help to define and understand the country’s unique mineral system.
Crowe, who is the Chief Geologist at Titan Minerals (formerly AGVision Mining), further said geochronology is vital to developing the Nigerian mining sector.
Consultant Geologist at the NGSA Geochronology Training, Mr. Danjuma Adejoh said the aim is to share knowledge on how geochronology can be used to understand rock and mineral formations in the country toward data generation. He said availability of data will lead to more investment in the sector.
Discussing how geochronoly can ease the process of mineral exploration, Adejoh said: “Geochronology is scientific, it helps you boycott the old method and it enable you explore for mineral with a level of certainty without having to go through geochemical and geophysical processes.”
“Geochronology is scientific, and it is commendable that Nigeria is embracing it,” he added.
Principal Resource Person at the training, Dr. Musa Bala Girei whose Presentation was titled “The Fundamentals of Mineral Dating,” said that although age dating could be cumbersome, but explained that it could help to predict the accurate age of mineralization.
Discussing what Nigeria will gain from deploying geochronology, Girei said: “Nigeria will be able to delineate major mineralized belts,” adding that it will help identify areas that should be further explored for solid minerals. According to him, geochronology enables experts to predict mineral occurrence with high level of certainty.
“This means that we will explore with certainty and we are sure of getting minerals that will lead to the development of our economy through job creation and industrialization along the various mineral value chain,” Girei said.
Geochronology is a globally recognized best practice and will strengthen investor-confidence in the mineral sector, he added.