By Aluta News
February 03, 2021
FG Approves Establishment of Artisanal And Small Scale Mineral Processing Cluster In Cross River State- Dr Ogah
The Federal Government has approved the establishment of an artisnal and small scale mineral processing cluster in Cross River State.
The cluster, which will serve the South-South zone, is aimed at activating the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other states where the solid minerals cluster will be established are Bauchi, Kano, Kogi and Ebonyi.
The Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogar disclosed this in Calabar on Monday, while recieving title documents for a 5 hectare land donated by the State government in support of the project.
The minister said the choice of the state for the project is based on merit and to also harness the barite deposit, which the state has in abundance.
He said: “The development of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mineral Processing cluster project is an initiative of the Federal Government in swift response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The overarching goal of the project is to spur and ensure sustainable growth of socio-economic activities across the sub economic sectors of the nation.
“The choice of Cross River for the siting of the cluster project for Barite value chain development is predicated on the fact that the State is endowed with large commercial deposits of the mineral.
“Barite deposit occurrences in Cross River are mainly around Obubra through to Yala Local Government Area, which informed the siting of the cluster project in Yala.”
He said the project will be completed in six months will increase mineral production and revenue generation while enhancing safer mining activities.
Others are boosting the ease of doing mining business, fast track development of downstream mineral value chain and create more jobs.
He added that under the project, the Federal Government intends to embark on infrastructural development within the cluster area.
These include a barite processing plant, mining equipment leasing bay, training center, warehouse, office complex amongst others amenities.
He disclosed that the policy of the government against exportation of raw materials is in force and the project will also help in checking the exportation of raw materials.
The Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade commended the Federal Government for looking beyond politics and nepotism to bring the project to the state.
The deputy governor, Ivara Esu, who represented Ayade, said the administration will support the project.
He stated: “We thank the ministry for its fairness and magnanimity for siting the project here.
“The State is the largest producer of barite and the resource stretches over a very large area.”
To underscore the commitment of the state to the project, Esu noted that the state was willing to double the land allocation from five hectares to 10 hectares if the request is made.
Source: Oracle News