The Federal Government plans to establish solid mineral processing hubs in the six geopolitical zones of the country.
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, who disclosed this at the 2020 Nigeria Mining Week said the hubs would be sited close to the locations of artisanal miners.
He made this known while addressing the topic ‘Formalising Artisanal and small scale mining: The urgent need to formulate adequate policies’.
According to him, the ministry will consult with artisanal miner groups to understand their needs and reach a consensus on the type of processing hub they require.
He noted that small scale mining in Nigeria constituted between 85 and 90 per cent of the mining activities in the country.
He stated that artisanal miners needed to be encouraged to create employment and wealth for the country.
Rather than classifying them as illegal, the minister said it would be better to bring them together and provide incentives for them to thrive.
He said, ”At the ministry, we have established a remote sensing station and we are working with the satellite companies to identify areas where artisanal mining is going on.