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Minister charges investors to emulate Kogi gold plant

By Ernest Nzor, Abuja
26 February 2022   |   4:14 am
The Federal Government has called on investors to replicate the construction of gold smelting plant sited in Mopa, Mopa Moro Local Council of Kogi State.

Olamilekan Adegbite is Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals and Steel Development

The Federal Government has called on investors to replicate the construction of gold smelting plant sited in Mopa, Mopa Moro Local Council of Kogi State.

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, gave this charge while inspecting the Mopa gold plant.

Adegbite, in a statement by his Director of Press, Idowu Jokpeyibo, noted: “The smelting plant is a pilot project located in Mopa Moro due to gold deposits in the vicinity and meant to serve the catchment areas around it.

“This processing plant project here in Mopa Moro is for the North Central, and it is because we found gold in this neighbourhood.”

The minister advised Artisanal and Small Scale Miners (ASM) in the area to take advantage of the plant by taking their raw gold to the facility for proper processing.

He encouraged investors to take advantage of the opportunities available in other states with gold deposits to build smelting plants, which, he said, would be of great benefit to them, the host communities and the country at large.

According to him, the gold smelting plant in Mopa is also government’s demonstration of safer method of gold smelting that is environmentally friendly, as it complies with global standards.

He advised the company against releasing the water from the processing plant directly into the water body in the neighbourhood, as done by illegal miners.

“We want to process locally. We want to create industries around our minerals and avoid the mistake Nigeria made in crude oil where we export raw crude and import refined product.

“Our gold will be processed here. We want to utilise our own gold locally for the benefit of Nigeria, so that we do not export jobs. So that at the end of the day, the value stays here, the job stays here and the money stays here,” he emphasised.

Earlier in her remarks, the Permanent Secretary for the ministry, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade, had noted that the post-COVID-19 regional projects established in the six geopolitical zones would stimulate the activities in the sector, create wealth for Nigerians and generate revenue for the government.

She opined that siting the processing plant in Mopa comes with a lot of opportunities for not only for the North Central but Nigeria at large.