By Victoria Onehi
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arc Olamilekan Adegbite has said the establishment of the Barite Processing Plant in Cross River State will ensure the development of downstream Barite Mining industries.
Adegbite disclosed this on Thursday, during the Commissioning of the Barite Plant in Ugaga Cross River State.
According to the Minister in a statement by Head Press and PR Dept,Funmi Imuetinyan, the South South geopolitical zone is known to host rich deposits of Barite. He said 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, Arc Adegbite also said that the plant will provide increased level of competitive inputs and employment generation in all businesses relating to Barite Mining clusters.
He further remarked that 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.
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.
Mining equipment were distributed to Members of the Mining Cooperatives present during the occasion.