FACTS ABOUT LEAD ORE IN NIGERIA

Background: Rocks are the materials which the earth’s upper crusts are made of, they are composed of minerals. Minerals are naturally occurring elements like Gold, or a compound such as Iron Oxide. If a rock contains a mineral from which a metal can be extracted at a profit, it is call an Ore. For example, lead Ore.

Lead is a main group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb {Latin: plumbum} and atomic number 18. Lead is soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals.

Estimated National Deposit: About 10,000,000 deposit have been discovered in Nigeria.

Export from Nigeria: Less than 2% of national reserve.

Uses: Lead is a major constituent of Lead- Acid battery

Lead ore is mined in Akwanga, Nassarawa Eggon and Wamba all in Nassarawa State. They are found in Jos in Plateau State, Alkaliri Local Government in Bauchi State, Filia in Gombe State, Taraba, Kaduna and Kogi.

Ores (metals) are traded internationally and comprise of a sizeable portion of international trade in raw materials both in value and volume. This is because the worldwide distribution of ores is unequal and dislocated from locations of peak demand and from smelting infrastructure.

Most base metals (copper, lead, zinc, nickel) are traded internationally on the London Metal Exchange, with smaller stockpiles and metals exchanges monitored by the COMEX and NYMEX exchanges in the United States and the Shanghai Futures Exchange in China.

The World Bank reports that China was the top importer of ores and metals in 2005 followed by the USA and Japan.

The market for lead ore especially the overseas market in China is large, expanding and sustainable because of the numerous uses of lead ore. Buyers usually would like to secure steady source of supply of these products.

An exporter that is able to secure a contract at the right price would have an uphill task meeting the demand of the buyer because the output from the mines in Nigeria is low due to the use of crude implement. You can imagine a situation whereby the daily need of the factory of the buyer is 600/MT and the exporter would struggle to supply 500/MT on a monthly basis.

The return on investment on the export of lead ore is estimated between 10%- 15%.

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