The Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Women In Mining Nigeria (WIMIN) have commended the effort of the Federal Government to develop mineral clusters through by establishing ore processing plants in the six geopolitical zones of the Federation, an effort that will lead to the development of the downstream value chain of the solid minerals sector.
Acting President of the Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Alhaji Musa Muhammed, who gave the commendation in Alkaleri, Bauchi, during the commissioning of a Kaolin Ore Processing Plant established by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, said the processing plant would fast-track the realization of the economic agenda of the current administration.
The Acting President, who was represented by the by the National Treasurer, Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO), Mr. Bello Galoji (who is a also a member of MAN), commended the cluster development project and the efforts of the Ministry to develop the downstream value chain of the Solid Minerals Sector.
He said Kaolin industrial cluster could be sustained in the State as there are over twenty documented Kaolin Mining Sites in Alkaleri and Kirfi Local Government Areas with over eight companies having titles to operate.
According to the President, Bauchi State has over twenty Small and Medium Kaolin milling plants registered under Bauchi Kaolin Millers Cooperative Society, who are ever ready to collaborate with the project.
The MAN’s helmsman solicited for more intervention in the areas of equipment leasing facilities to improve the operations of the Artisanal Small Scale Miners, in order to increase the volume of trade in established clusters.
National President, Women in Mining in Nigeria (WIMIN), Engr Janet Adeyemi who was represented by Mrs Piwuna said the industrial plant in Alkaleri portends well for the economy of Bauchi State and the entire nation.
She expressed the desire for the North East Geo-political Zone to exploit the advantages of proximity of market supply for industries whose raw materials include kaolin, adding that the initiative is not only timely but also critical in supporting the sector’s recovery and growth.
She said the commencement of the Plant is expected to also provide more job opportunities for the women in the State across board.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite who commissioned the Kaolin ore processing plant called for critical stakeholder-involvement in proper utilization of the mineral potentials in Nigeria in order to generate massive direct and indirect employment opportunities for wealth creation and improved National GDP.
Adegbite acknowledged efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to change the narrative of the nation’s economy, and pointed out that the newly built Kaolin Ore Processing Plant signifies a move away from raw materials export to export of processed materials, which he said, is where profits lies in value addition.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade expressed delight at the commissioning of the industrial plant. She assured that the ministry would continue to work for the development of the sector.
She further said that the project and five others, respectively, established in each Geopolitical Zone of the country were anchored on Government’s determination to remedy the impact of the recent global pandemic on the economy generally, and in the minerals and metals sector in particular.