By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
The federal government, through the Minister of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite has said the Barite Processing Plant in Ugaga Community of Yala LGA, Cross River State will contribute to the development of Downstream Barite Mining industries in Nigeria
The Minister added that the plant will provide an increased level of competitive inputs and employment generation in all businesses relating to Barite Mining clusters.
Speaking during the Commissioning of the Barite Plant in Ugaga Cross River State on Thursday, May 11, he said through the plant the Federal Government will ensure the development of downstream Barite Mining industries through the Establishment of where the natural resource is found in vast quantities.
He pointed out that the choice of Ugaga, as a location for the Barite processing plant is informed by its possession of rich deposits of Barite among the South-South States, and its closeness to Port Harcourt, Rivers State where the processed Barites are required for oil exploration in line with the Local Content and Value addition policy in Nigeria.
According to Arc Adegbite,” The South-South geopolitical zone is known to host rich deposits of Barite and with the location of the Barite Processing Plant in Ugaga, Artisanal and Small-scale Barite miners within the zone can easily have access to the plant for their Barite processing activities before further transportation and sales.
He further remarked that the Barite processing plant will increase the rate and exports of Value-added products and services; attract foreign and local investments; generate new start-up companies and increase trade performances.
The Minister revealed that the Barite Plant will create higher corporate profits, improved mineral production, ease of mining sector regulations, and many more cluster activities.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade in her welcome address expressed optimism that the commissioning of the Barite Processing Plant will trigger capacity development, wealth creation, and prosperity in the Minerals and Metals Sector in Ugaga, the entire South-South Zone and the Country at large.
Present at the Commissioning were Traditional Rulers, Directors, and staff of the Ministry, and Stakeholders in the Mining Sector.
Mining equipment were distributed to Members of the Mining Cooperatives present during the occasion, a statement by the Head of Press and PR Department, Funmi Imuetinyan informed.