Olamilekan Adegbite, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, revealed this during a briefing to reporters Monday in Abuja.
Mr Adegbite said the inauguration, scheduled for Port Harcourt, would be a great achievement for the country and also save Forex for Nigeria.
“Barite is a mineral used in the oil and gas industry and Nigeria has this mineral throughout the country, particularly in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Nasarawa, Plateau, Gombe and Cross River states.
He said 50 bags of ground barite would be on display at the inauguration, adding that the ore for the oil and gas industry was produced to meet America Petroleum Institute, API, standards set for petroleum industries. .
“We have 50 bags as samples that have been produced and proudly labeled ‘Made-in-Nigeria’. What we have done as a department is to create links between the mines, the millers, the baggage and the market.
“Nigeria has spent US $ 300 million a year to import barite, but this has to stop; we will go to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to protect the local barite market.
“There are two ways to do this, the council, in its wisdom, can rightly ban the importation of barite, that’s one way the council will choose tariff protection for local barite.
“Now Nigeria is ready to supply barite to local users and also to export to other oil producing countries such as Ghana and South Africa to earn foreign exchange through export”, a- he declared.
He said the process is tedious but the ministry is able to achieve it in less than two years after taking office.
“The API standard says that in order for barite to be used in the oil and gas industry it has to meet a minimum of 4.1 gravity, the barite we have in Nigeria is 3.8 to 4.8 gravity, that means we have some that exceed the API standard.
“We’re going to mix the 3.8 severity with the 4.8 severity and then we’ll get the average severity of 4.5 and roughly that means we’re above the API minimum requirement of 4.” , 1 ”.
“We educated our miners on the API standard and the barite must be mixed with an acceptable 0.3 macron powder, it must be a fine powder, if lower it will stick on the drill ring.
“We also support various stakeholders with and with the local content organization in the petroleum industry set up by the government; the body will be in Port Harcourt for the unveiling. ”
He said that an online portal that would connect all these people and users was set up to block the importation of the product, as many of them would still prefer to import the ore.
“We set up a price per kilogram, we set up our price well below as an offer to the market to begin with.
“We don’t want this to be a government affair, which is why the portal is configured to operate on a stand-alone basis.
“With the portal set up, the miner receives his money from the portal once he supplies the barite, the millers get what is due to them and the person providing the bags gets his money to enable them to pay royalties to the government.
He said the achievement would encourage more miners to enter the industry and invest, adding that it would also create employment opportunities for young people.
Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade, permanent secretary of the ministry, described the inauguration as a milestone for the ministry, the federal government and Nigerians.
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