Nigeria’s Federal Government and Nasarawa State are joining forces in the development of a lithium processing policy. The initiative aims to foster local processing of lithium mined in the state, rather than exporting it in its raw form. The partnership was revealed by Dr. Bashir Gwandu, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), during a formal visit by Nasarawa State’s Governor, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule.
According to Gwandu, the policy aligns with NASENI’s objective to promote local processing of strategic solid minerals. The ultimate goal is to boost local production of batteries for electric vehicles and other energy storage applications. Nasarawa State possesses one of Nigeria’s largest lithium deposits.
Gwandu also mentioned that NASENI is actively encouraging investors and Nigerian lithium off-takers worldwide to partner in domestic lithium processing for battery production. This includes processing stages from mineral crushing and extraction to the final product, suitable for local use and exportation.
Several Chinese companies have already responded to NASENI’s call, displaying interest in this initiative. Government agencies, including the Rural Electricity Agency (REA) and Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), are poised to support NASENI’s efforts.
Gwandu welcomed Governor Sule’s collaboration and shared that several companies are considering investing in Nasarawa’s lithium processing, with capacities ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 tonnes per day.
Governor Sule described the current interest in Nasarawa’s lithium as a “Lithium Rush”, similar to a Gold Rush, due to the global increase in lithium prices. He emphasized the need for proper coordination and collaboration to ensure Nigeria becomes one of the world’s leading lithium producers.
Governor Sule urged NASENI to consider using its Solar in Gora as a lithium processing and battery production plant, due to its proximity to raw materials and the NASENI Solid Minerals Institute in Nasarawa. He also invited NASENI to participate in the upcoming “Lithium Rush Summit”, the state’s second economic summit.