Coal resources have been estimated at 2.5 billion tons, lignite at 250 million tons, and limestone at 600 million tons that are spread over fifteen states. The parastatal Nigerian Coal Corporation is responsible for most of the existing coalmines. The Nigerian coal mining industry is slowly being privatized as part of increasing production back to levels of 900,000 tons per annum, last achieved in 1959.

The government has signed its first production sharing agreement with Nordic Industries, a consortium of Danish, British and local firms to develop its coal industry. The Okab/Odigbo mine district in the northern Kogi state has reserves estimated at 22 million tons and is due to be developed. The Enugu mine has a capacity to produce 150 000t/year.

During 2002 the MSMD gave the go-ahead for a joint venture between South African group LSC Consortium and Polish company Kopex to exploit coal from mines at Mnyeama, Okpara and Owupka.

Shaun Bakamoso

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