Few Months to end of tenure, FG mulls Solid Minerals refining plants
After seven years and few months to end of administration, the Federal Government has said that the process of refining gold, gemstones and other mineral resources has commenced in the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.
Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, disclosed this at a forum in Abuja, pointing out that adding value to the country’s mineral resources would go a long way in creating jobs and wealth for Nigerians.
He said six plants were being set up in the various zones to process mineral resources deposited in those regions.
According to him, “We have set out to do six regional projects and one of them is the gold souk in Kano, the North West region.
“Before now, our gold was being exported in its raw form for close to nothing to foreign countries for processing and we end up buying them expensively.
“We have trained people who will make jewellery and they will be resident in the plant”.
The minister said similar plants had been set up in the North-East, Bauchi for processing kaolin, while in the North-Central Kogi State was chosen for establishment of a gold smelting plant .
Adegbite also said in the South-West, in Ibadan, gemstone plant had been established while in the South-East, lead processing plant was established in Ebonyi.
He said in the South-South region, baryte processing plant had been established, adding that “Nigeria imports baryte to the tune of 300 million dollars every year.
He said the six regional projects were at advanced stage of completion and would be commissioned soon.