Nigeria begins exploration of its world largest deposits of Bitumen and Tar Sands
The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has announced its plan to begin mining of rich bitumen deposit in Ondo state.
This is towards diversifying the economy and boosting foreign exchange earnings of the country.
To start with, the government has awarded mining licence to the state government to explore this natural resources. According to the government, the bitumen reserve in Ondo state can serve the need of whole Africa, thus the decision to explore the economic opportunities towards developing infrastructures and other related sectors.
Statistics from government officials have also revealed that Nigeria currently imports over 600,000 tonnes of asphalt per annum which amount to billions of Naira. While there are about 42 billion barrels reserves of bitumen and tar sands in one of its regions.
According to some accounts, the volume of bitumen and tar sand deposits in Ondo state are the largest in the world.
With bitumen production in the region, construction companies would have to halt the importation of asphalt, which would also result in low of road constructions in the country.