The Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited requires two million tons of iron ore to operate, according to the Director General of the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency (NSRMEA), Kolawole Ogunbiyi. He made this statement during a familiarisation visit by the Minister of State for Steel Development, Alhaji Uba Maigari Ahmadu, to the agency yesterday.
Ogunbiyi also stressed the need for more investment in the mining of iron ore to ensure a steady supply to steel industries across the country. He urged the government to provide a special intervention fund to complete the Obi Coal project, which he said would reduce the importation of cooking coal.
He further outlined some strategic plans for sustainable supply of steel raw materials, such as the acquisition of crawler-mounted diamond core drilling rigs, heavy duty field vehicles and field laboratory equipment. He said these would enhance the production of iron ore in the country.
The minister, in his response, promised to support research and development and foster partnerships for the sustainable development of the nation’s mineral resources. The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Mary Ogbe, also assured of the government’s commitment to make the railway system work, adding that the steel industries are vital for the railway system.