The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development under the Economic Sustainable Plan of the Federal Government of Nigeria yesterday commissioned a Kaolin processing plant to empower artisanal and small-scale mining cluster projects in Gwaram, Alkaleri Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
Speaking during the commissioning tagged ‘Mining Value Chain Development for Job Creation and Economic Recovery,’ Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite, said the Bauchi processing plant is to process wet Kaolin needed for the use of the pharmaceutical industry in the country.
Adegbite said the government decided to stimulate the economy with the initiative. “We are going to save a lot of foreign exchange. Pharmaceutical industries will no longer import Kaolin. Paint industry, ceramic and cosmetics will be bought locally; we create wealth within the value chain and everybody will be happier with that. We lose a lot of money, we lose a lot of wealth by exporting raw ore,” the minister explained.
In his remarks, Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed said the state has a large reserve of Kaolin and other natural resources which have not been mined, calling on investors to come and partner with the state to harness the mineral resources.
Represented by the SSG, Barr Ibrahim Kashim, the governor pledged that the government will provide basic amenities including roads, water and electricity for maximum output of the plant to encourage investment in the sector, adding that there will be 24 hours security to protect the plant and the workers.
Small-scale miners in Bauchi were empowered with equipment needed to enable them to embark on their business under the Economic Sustainability Plan of the Federal Government of Nigeria.