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Mopa Gold Processing Plant’ll Create Jobs, Boost Economy, FG Assures

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FMMSD 1 (2)
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite (left) commissioning the processing plant while others watch in Kogi State.

The Nigerian government has assured Nigerians that the newly-launched gold-processing plant in Mopa, Kogi, State, will promote the downstream mining industry, improve product pricing, generate employment opportunities, increase revenue and attract foreign markets to Nigeria.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, who was speaking during the inauguration of the gold-processing plant located in Mopa-Muro local government area of Kogi State on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, highlighted that the informal trading of unprocessed gold has led to capital flight, and this new plant is part of the government’s resolve to mitigate this.

“The choice of Mopa as the location for the gold processing plant,” he said “is based on its central position on the Schist Belt, which trends from the northwest through western Kogi to southwest Nigeria and is known to host rich deposits of gold.”

Also, he disclosed that the facility houses state-of-the-art gold processing machineries and equipment, over 30 stalls, administrative block, training section, MMSD office, stable power supply, etc.

The plant is designed based on the cluster concept, a global trend in industrial development that promotes shared amenities, agglomeration of similar producers, customers, and complementary expertise to promote efficiency, increase specialization, and production. It features state-of-the-art gold processing machinery and equipment, over 30 stalls, an administrative block, a training section, MMSD office, and stable power supply.

The permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade, noted that the conceptualisation of the project was a fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of providing cash or other material gifts to cushion the effects of the pandemic, the ministry embarked on a more strategic people-oriented project that is sustainable and economically viable to trigger capacity development, job and wealth creation for the people.

Akinlade stated that Mopa is a town of hope, a land of promise, and the commissioning of the project marks the beginning of unlocking the prosperity of the land and all the states in the North Central Geopolitical zone and, by extension, Nigeria.

The executive governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, represented by his senior special adviser on solid mineral resources, Engr. Mohammed Yusuf, expressed his joy and appreciation to the Federal Government for citing such an important project in the state. He promised more synergy between the state and the Federal Government.

His Royal Majesty, the Elulu of Mopa, Oba Julius Joledo appreciated the Federal Government for citing the project in their community, promising that the people will protect the facility. He urged the government to provide adequate security, as he appealed to the government to consider the youths of Mopa for employment in the plant.

The director, artisanal and small-scale mining of the ministry, Mr. Yunusa Mohammed thanked the minister, permanent secretary, traditional rulers, and people of Mopa for gracing the occasion. He urged the people to protect the facility, emphasising that ASM is key to the implications of the clusters.

The commissioning of the Mopa Gold Processing Plant is a significant milestone in the Nigerian mining industry, as it will create jobs, improve revenue generation, and attract foreign investment. The government’s decision to develop the downstream mining sector is laudable, and it is hoped that this project will be replicated in other parts of the country to boost economic growth and development.

A statement by the ministry’s head of press department, Funmi Imuetinyan said the gold-processing plant was officially commissioned and mining equipment were presented to mining cooperatives.

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