The Federal Government has called on investors and would-be investors to replicate the construction of Gold Smelting Plant sited in Mopa, Mopa-Muro Local Government Area of Kogi State.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development (MMSD), Arc Olamilekan Adegbite gave the charge during an inspection tour of the Gold Smelting Plant in Mopa-Muro, yesterday.
A statement from the ministry, signed by Idowu Jokpeyibo for the Director Press, quoted the minister as saying that the Mopa-Muro processing plant project is for the North Central, adding that it was cited in the zone because gold occurs in the neighborhood.
He said the smelting plant is a pilot project located in Mopa-Muro Local Government due to gold deposits in the vicinity and meant to provide services to catchment areas within its location.
The Minister advised the Artisanal and Small Scale Miners (ASM) in the area to take advantage of the gold smelting plant by taking their gold to the facility for proper processing.
He also encouraged investors to take advantage of the opportunities available in other States with gold deposits and build smelting plant which he said, would be of great benefit to them, the host communities and Nigeria at large.
Adegbite charged investors to borrow a leaf from what the Federal Government has done in Mopa and build processing plant in other gold bearing communities, adding that the processing plant in the clusters spread across the country, are demonstration plants for investors to replicate.
He said 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 standard.
He advised against the water used in processing being released directly into the water body in the neighborhood as it is done by illegal miners.
The Minister said the country is moving away from being a mineral exporting country. “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 emphasized.
The Minister assured Nigerians that gold mined in the Country would be processed in Nigeria. In his words, “our Gold will be processed here, we want to utilize 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”
The Permanent Secretary, MMSD, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade earlier in her remarks noted that the post Covid six (6) regional projects established in the geopolitical zones would stimulate the activities in the sector, create wealth for Nigerians and at the same time generate revenue for the government.
She opined that siting of the processing plant in Mopa would come with a lot of opportunities for not only the North Central but for Nigeria at large.