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FG Unveils Gold Processing Plant in Kogi State

By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja

The federal government, through the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, MMSD, unveiled the Mopa Gold Processing Plant in Mopa, Mopa- Muro Local Government Area of Kogi State.

In a statement by the Ministry’s Head of Press, Funmi Imuetinyan, it stated that the Minister, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite commissioned the plant yesterday.

The Minister pointed out that the informal trading of unprocessed gold had led to capital flights, stressing that the siting of the Gold Processing Plant in Mopa is part of the Federal Government’s resolve to develop the downstream Mining Sector to ensure improvement in product pricing, job creation, improved revenue generation, and also to attract foreign markets to Nigeria.

“The choice of Mopa as a location for the gold processing plant is predicated on its Central position on the Schist Belt which trends from the Northwest through Western Kogi State to Southwest Nigeria.” The statement read

He further explained that the Nigeria Schist Belt is known to host rich deposits of gold and the location of the gold processing plant in Mopa will ensure that Artisanal and Small-scale gold operators within the Schist Belt States can easily have access to the plant for their gold processing and refining activities respectively.

Giving a description of the project, the minister noted that the project is designed based on the cluster concept which has become a global trend in industrial development to promote shared amenities, agglomeration of similar producers, customers among others, based on geographical proximity or access to complementary expertise to promote efficiency and increase specialization and production.

He said the facility, housed state-of-the-art gold processing machinery and equipment, over 30 stalls, an administrative block, a training section, an MMSD office, and stable power supply among others

In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Oluwatoyin Akinlade said the conceptualization of the project was a fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and instead of dishing out cash or other material gifts to the people to cushion the effects of the Pandemic, the Ministry embarked on a more strategic people-oriented project that are sustainable and economically viable to trigger capacity development, job and wealth creation for the people.

Dr. Akinlade stated that Mopa is a town of hope, a land of promise, that the commissioning of the project marks the beginning of the unlocking of prosperity of the land, and of all the States in the North Central Geopolitical zone and by extension, Nigeria.

She also took the time to appreciate the Mopa community for heartily embracing the project while urging them to protect the facility.

Also in his address, the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, who was represented by his Senior Special Adviser on Solid Mineral Resources, Eng. Mohammed Yusuf, said the government and people of the State are overwhelmed with joy as the government found them worthy to site such an important project in the State as he promised more synergy between the State and the Federal Government.

In his goodwill message, His Royal Majesty, the Elulu of Mopa, Oba Julius Joledo, whose message was read by Oba of Odole, Oba Bayo James Aje, appreciated the Federal Government for siting the project in their community. While promising that the people will protect the facility, he urged the government to provide it with adequate security as he urged the government to consider the youths of Mopa for employment in the plant.

The gold Processing Plant was officially commissioned and Mining Equipment were presented to Mining Cooperatives.

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