From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite has revealed that the Barite Processing Plant would create higher corporate profits, improved mineral production, ease of mining sector regulations and many more cluster activities.
Adegbite in a statement released by the ministry’s Head of press Funmi Imuetinyan added that the plant will also increase the rate and exports value of products and services.
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 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.
While noting that the plant will contribute to the development of Downstream Barite Mining industries in Nigeria, Adegbite also said that the plant will provide increased level of competitive inputs and employment generation in all businesses relating to Barite Mining clusters.
” Barite processing plant will be very important to the development of the country and mining sector in particular, as it 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.
” It will also create higher corporate profits, improved mineral production, ease of mining sector regulations which is one of the major challenges of the sector,he said
Also speaking,the Permanent Secretary, 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.
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