The Minister of Mines and Steel and Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, has advised investors to look into establishing more gold smelting plants in the country.
Adegbite gave the advice in his visit to the gold smelting plant project in Mopa-Moro LGA in Kogi, adding that investors can do the same in other gold manufacturing communities in Nigeria.
Etore Thomas, the director, press and public relations of the ministry, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.
The minister said the gold plant project is sited in Kogi because of gold deposits in the area and that it is meant to provide employment for catchment areas within its location.
“This processing plant project is sited in Mopa, Moro Local Government Area of Kogi because we found gold in this neighborhood,” Adegbite said.
“The Artisanal and Small Scale Miners (ASM) in the area should take advantage of the plant by taking their gold to the facility for proper processing.”
He asked investors to take advantage of the opportunities available in other states with gold deposits and build smelting plants which will be of great benefit to them, the host communities and Nigeria at large.
“The Gold Smelting plant in Mopa is the government’s demonstration of a safer method of gold smelting that is environmentally friendly as it complies with global standards,” he said.
Adegbite also advised that water used for processing gold should be channelled properly to avoid polluting the water body of the environment.
He assured Nigerians that the gold mined in the country will be locally processed.
“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,” he said.
“We want to utilise our own gold locally for the benefit of Nigeria so that we do not export jobs and at the end of the day, the value stays here, the job stays here and the money stays here.”
Also, Oluwatoyin Akinlade, permanent secretary, ministry of mines and steel development, said the post-COVID regional projects established in the geopolitical zones will stimulate activities in the sector.
“It would create wealth for Nigerians and at the same time generate revenue for the government, adding that the Mopa processing plant would be of great benefits to Nigeria at large,” he said.