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The Federal Government has established a Barite Processing Factory in Calabar, Cross River State capital

The Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogar disclosed this in Calabar while receiving title documents for a 5 hectares land donated by the Cross River State government for the project.

He said that the choice of Cross-River State for citing 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 State are mainly around Obubra through to Yala Local Government Area which informed the siting of the cluster project in Yala”, the minister said.

He said the project which will be completed in 6 months will increase efficiency, mineral production and revenue generations and enhance safer mining activities.

He added that under the project, the Federal Government intends to embark on infrastructural development within the cluster area; namely, a barite processing Plant, Mining equipment leasing bay, Training Centre, Warehouse, Office Complex amongst others amenities.

He said the essence of the project is to harness the barite deposit which the state has in abundance “The development of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mineral Processing cluster project is an initiative of the Federal Government in a swift response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Governor Ben Ayade commended the federal government for looking beyond politics and nepotism to bring the project to the state.

The governor who was represented by his Deputy, Professor Ivara Esu said his administration will support the project.

“We are very happy to receive you and thank the ministry for its fairness and magnanimity for citing the project here, “Cross River State is the largest producer of barite and the resource stretches for a very large area.

“You asked for 5 hectares and we will gladly expand it to 10 hectares if you want to underscore our commitment to the project”, he said.

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