The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, has explained why he turned down an offer by Tesla Inc to get raw lithium from Nigeria.
Speaking at a recent summit, Adegbite said that the electric car company offered to get lithium from Nigeria, which is one of the components used in electric car batteries.
According to him, a Tesla representative approached him at a summit in Saudi Arabia and showed interest in getting Lithium from Nigeria but he turned down the offer and asked Tesla to set up battery industry in Nigeria.
This he said would improve the value chain of mineral exploration, creates jobs in Nigeria, and also improve efficiency of Nigerians in the electric vehicle market.
Adegbite said mineral demand from electric vehicles and battery storage is predicted to grow 10 to 30 times by 2040. Adding that electric vehicles and battery storage would account for about half of the energy minerals demand over the next two decades, spurred by the increasing demand for battery materials.
“Nigeria is richly endowed with critical minerals. Lithium and tantalum are found in parts of the extensive pegmatite belts of Nigeria,” he said.