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Mining Clusters, Panacea For Wealth, Job Creation – Adegbite

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Adegbite Cross River
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite (fifth from left) and the ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade flanked by ministry officials, others during the construction inspection in Cross River State.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, has identified the establishment of mining clusters in the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria as very key to wealth and job creation in the country. 

Speaking during the inspection of the ongoing construction at the Barite Cluster Processing Plant in Ugaga, Yala local government area of Cross River State, he said the establishment of mining clusters will boost the productivity of artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM), generate wealth and create employment opportunities for Nigerians.

The clusters, according to Adegbite, are Federal Government intervention projects to cushion the adverse effects of COVID-19 and jump-start the economy. 

Adegbite explained that the establishment of the barite cluster in Ugaga was necessitated by the abundance of barite in the area.

“The barite processing plant is sited in Ugaga because of the abundance of barite in this location and the need to reduce logistics for the processing, as localisation of industries at the sources of raw materials minimises logistics overload,” he added. 

He said when completed, barite would be processed in Ugaga and shipped to Port Harcourt, where buyers and exporters could buy them.

The minister, however, assured that when completed the plant would not be run by the government but by experienced experts who have the wherewithal to run it on behalf of the Federal Government.

He stated that the plant would also provide services to barite miners. “Miners of barite can bring it here to sell to processors or mill their barite to the American Petroleum Institute (API) standard at a reasonable cost.”

Adegbite further added that the factory will increase the sector’s contribution to the nation’s GDP when it becomes institutionalised. 

A statement by the director of press signed by Idowu Jokpeyibo, said Adegbite inspected the project alongside the ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade and the director, ASM, Mr. Patrick Ojeka. 

Earlier in her remarks, Akinlade called on barite miners to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by this huge investment to enhance and improve the productivity of barite in the country. This, according to her, would save Nigeria foreign exchange currently being spent on barite importation.

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