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Nigeria’s new gold processing plant to boost job creation, curb capital flights –Minister

Gold Bars

*Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, Minister for Mines and Steel Development, discloses the Federal Government commissions its first Gold Processing Plant in Mopa, Kogi State, to improve product pricing, create jobs, improve revenue generation and attract foreign markets to Nigeria

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government has inched further on its bid to halt trading of unprocessed gold leading to capital flights and job losses with the activation of a gold processing plant in Mopa, Mopa-Muro local Government Area (LGA) of Kogi State.

ConsumerConnect reports Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, Honourable Minister for Mines and Steel Development, recently inaugurated the first Gold Processing Plant in the North Central region of the country.

Adegbite, in his keynote address on the occasion, stated the move was to develop the downstream sector mining industry in order to improve product pricing, create jobs, improve revenue generation and attract foreign markets to Nigeria.

Funmi Imuetiyan, Head of Press for Adegbite, in a statement issued Wednesday, May 10, 2023, in Abuja, FCT, said the Minister also disclosed the concept of the Gold Processing Plant was a deliberate policy to promote job creation and capacity development of gold mining operators in Kogi State and environs, through the Economic Growth and Sustainability Plan of the Federal Government.

According to him, 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 North-West through western Kogi State to South-West Nigeria.

Adegbite further explained the Nigeria Schist Belt is known to host rich deposits of gold.

“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,” stated he.

Benefits of gold processing facility to economy, by Minister

Arc. Adegbite noted the newly commissioned gold processing plant would generate sustainable competitive advantages in key areas of the Nigerian economy.

He stated these include the development of downstream gold mining industries, increasing the level of competitive inputs, such as services, machinery and equipment.

He said it also helps in “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.”

The inauguration, noted Adegbite, was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’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 Minister as well said: “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 formalisation of the ASM Sub-sector as a major driver of the key growth parameters 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 drive.”

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