SMDF boots mineral sector with critical equipment as Minister advocates more funding windows

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite (3rd Left) receiving one of the equipment from the Executive Secretary/CEO, Solid Minerals Development Fund, Hajiya Fatimah Umaru Shinkafi (3rd Right) while the Permanent Secretary, MMSD, Dr Mrs Oluwatoyin Akinlade and the Director, Mines Inspectorate, Engr Frank Oodom (1st From Right) and other officials look on with keen interest.

The Nigerian Mining sector received a boost on Thursday as the Solid Minerals Development Fund provided two critical equipment needed for laboratory analysis of solid minerals, a development that will strengthen the ability of the sector to deliver set goals. The equipment consists of two batches of Niton™ DXL Precious Metal Analyzer and Mettler Toledo Precision Analytical Balance.

DXL Precious Metal Analyzer is a fast and easy nondestructive solution for gold analysis, users can be completely sure of the value of the precious metals they buy and sell. It enables users to rapidly differentiate between solid gold and gold plating and find out the precise karat (K) weight of gold jewelry using the Thermo Scientific™ Niton™ DXL Precious Metal Analyzer.

The Niton™ DXL analyzer is equipped with Thermo Scientific™ AuDIT™ gold-plating detection technology. It has been specifically designed for countertop use in retail settings, delivering quick and reliable results for metal analysis and gold testing. With the Niton™ DXL Precious Metal Analyzer, users can quantify the exact precious metal content in coins, jewelry, and other similar valuable products in a matter of seconds.

The Mettler Toledo Precision Analytical Balance is a form of scale that measures mass to a high degree of precision. Minister seeks Establishment Act for SMDF.

A Statement from the ministry, signed by the Special Adviser on Media to the Minister said Adegbite commended the Hajiya Fatimah Shinkafi-led Management of the SMDF for providing the equipment, which the minister said, “would help the ministry’s officers at the field to identify the right amount and quantity of specific minerals,” noting that the “the SMDF is fulfilling one of its obligations to the department and to the ministry.”

Adegbite encouraged stakeholders to take a clue from the effort made by the Fund to support the sector, stating that total synergy can be established between relevant stakeholders toward providing funds needed to execute support initiatives.

The Minister, who disclosed that government is working towards an Establishment Act for the SMDF, explained that it will empower the SMDF to explore other sources of funding besides budgetary allocation. He noted that such an act, when established, will lead to provision of more support for the sector.

Adegbite said: “Once we are able to do this, it would be greatly beneficial for all of us as they would be in the position to raise funds even outside government, from the private sector.”

“It can only be beneficial to the sector as a whole as they support the ministry to carry out its functions and oversight and supervisory function and helping miners fulfill their aim.”

The Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Solid Minerals Development Fund, Hajiya Fatima Umaru Shinkafi said provision of the relevant equipment for mining sector was part of the mandate of the Fund towards enabling them to perform their roles.

She said the equipment would help the departments perform the duties excellently.

The Executive Secretary said: “The Niton DXL precious metal analyser will enable nondestructive analysis of metals with near instantaneous results. It is exceptionally fast, easy to use, results appears in seconds on a bright, touch-screen colour display. It requires no harsh chemicals or acids that can burn your fingers, ruin clothing and damage countertops. Faster , more comprehensive analysis than fire assay, with comparable accuracy. The assay machine also eliminates the need for density test that is crude and inaccurate. The instruments that we are presenting today will enable the determination of the purity and weight of gold in seconds.”

“So we are presenting today both assaying instruments and precision weighing instruments. We are confident that the instruments will support the Ministry’s ASM clusters across the country.”

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