The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite has re-emphasised that the establishment of Mining Clusters in the six (6) geopolitical zones will boost the productivity of Artisanal and Small Scale Miners ASM, generate weal employment opportunities for Nigerians.
The Clusters, according to the Minister,are Federal Government intervention projects to cushion the adverse effects of Covid-19 and jumpstart the economy.
Mr. Adegbite made this known in Ugaga, Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State during the inspection of the ongoing work at Barite Cluster Processing Plant.
The Minister explained that the establishment of Barite Cluster in Ugaga was necessitated by the abundance of Barite in the area.
“ The Barite Processing Plant is sited in Ugaga because of abtheabundancee 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.
The Minister assured that the plant when completed, 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 added 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 America Petroleum Institute (API) standard at rea reasonable cost,”.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Dr Oluwatoyin 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.