FG Mulls Locally Produced Barite To Cut N123.1bn Annual Import Bill
The federal government is midwifing a local production of Barite that will save the country’s import bill of over $300 million (about N123.1 billion based on N410.99 official exchange rate) annually.
Barite is a mineral used by industries in the oil and gas for drilling, and for making glass ceramics and paint.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Adegbite Olamilekan, disclosed this on Monday, during an interactive session with journalists, ahead of the launching of ‘made-in-Nigeria Barite Product’ on Thursday.
Olamilekan noted that Nigeria is awash with a quality Barite that is sufficient for the domestic market and export to other oil-producing countries.
The minister said he will make a case for the made-in-Nigeria Barite at the executive council and asked them to protect the local market.
“There are two ways of doing this: the council in its wisdom to outrightly ban the importation of Barite or the council may choose tariff protection for the local Barite. As that evolves, I will let you know, “he said.
He said supporting local miners and millers would lead to the creation of jobs, revenue and diversify the country’s economy.
“Barite is regulated by its specific gravity. The minimum American Petroleum Institute (API) standard for Barite to be used in the oil industry must be a minimum of 4.1 specific gravity.
“We have a Barite of about 3.8 to 4.8. In the past, there was no coordinated effort to meet the API standard but now, if you blend 3.8 and 4.8, you will have an average of 4.5. Then we can supply to the industry,” he said.