Abuja — The Federal Government yesterday laid the foundation of the first gold refinery in Mowe, Ogun State, to enhance the country's sustainable economic growth.
Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari, who performed the ceremony in Mowe, said government and promoters of the refinery identified gold as a strategic commodity.
Bwari commended the management of Kian Smith Company Limited for the project, saying the Federal Government was determined to develop the country's mining sector.
He also assured that government and other stakeholders would develop the sector to increase its contribution to the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), improve its capacity to create jobs and engender sustainable mining.
"In fulfillment of our mandate, we have developed a roadmap for the development of the mining industry, and have seven minerals, with gold as the commodity that will get utmost priority."
"We discovered that a well organised gold value chain could trigger an economic revolution like it did in India, South Africa, Switzerland and other countries," he stated.
Bwari, therefore, maintained that government has proposed a Gold Purchase Scheme aimed at developing the gold value chain, thereby leading to production of gold products.
"It is based on this premise that the ministry approved the first Gold Refinery license to Kian Smith Nigeria Limited to commence construction activities for gold refining plant," he added.
He explained that the implication of the project is that gold supply will be sourced from registered artisan miners for effective monitoring and regulation of gold production.
"Our gold production data will soon be available. In addition, it will be refining gold bars for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the Federal Gold Reserve Scheme and the local jewelry industry.
He, however, thanked the Ogun State government for hosting the project, saying: "Soon we shall gather again to witness the official commissioning of the refinery plant."