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The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, has inaugurated the first Gold Processing Plant in Mopa, Kogi State, North Central, Nigeria.
The Minister said the gesture was to develop the downstream sector of mining industry to improve product pricing, create jobs, improve revenue generation and attract foreign markets to Nigeria.
He said this in his keynote address at the inauguration of the plant in Mopa, Mopa-Muro local government area of Kogi State.
Adegbite disclosed that the concept of the Gold Processing Plant was a crafted policy to spur job creation and capacity development of gold mining operators in Kogi State and environs.
He added that it was achieved through the Economic Growth and Sustainability Plan of the Federal Government.
Adegbite spoke through a statement issued by Head of Press, Funmi Imuetiyan, stating that the choice of Mopa as a location for the gold processing plant was predicated on its central position on the Schist Belt which trends from the northwest through western Kogi State to southwest Nigeria.
Adegbite suggested that the Nigeria Schist Belt is known to host rich deposits of gold.
He stated : “With the location of the gold processing plant in Mopa, artisanal and small-scale gold operators within the Schist Belt states can easily have access to the plant for their gold processing and refining.
“The plant will create and generate sustainable competitive advantages in the following key areas: Development of downstream gold mining industries. Increasing the level of competitive inputs, such as services, machinery and equipment.
“Increasing the level of employment in all business activities related to the gold mining cluster. Increasing the rate and exports of value-added products and services & attracting foreign investments.”
He further added that the inauguration was in line with the President’s resolve to anchor his economic diversification agenda on two key sectors of Mining and Agriculture, that the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development had designed six strategic ASM Cluster Projects in the six geopolitical zones as a means to harness the potential of the over three (3) million ASM operators in the country.
“The Gold Processing Plant in Mopa for the North Central Zone is one of these projects and these landmark projects are to create an enabling environment to support the Mining Industry through the formalization of the ASM Sub-sector as a major driver of the key growth parameters.
“It is to engender the development of the Mining Sector since over 90% of the Mining activities in the country could safely be said to be ASM driven,” he said.
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