The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite say the creation of regional mineral projects in the six geopolitical zones will increase revenue in the sector.
He stated this in Lagos during an interactive session on activities of the ministry.
He said the fund has been received for the establishment of the projects, which would cushion the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic by giving priorities to minerals where they have a comparative advantage.
Mr Adegbite said the government was building a plant to process Kaolin in Bauchi in the North East, which he maintained would end importation of the mineral.
A gemstone market is to be built in Ibadan in the South Western Zone and a Barite production would be developed in Ogoja, Cross River States in the South-South geopolitical Zone, he said.
The Minister also said the Federal Government would discourage the exportation of raw lead by building a lead processing plant in Ebonyi in the South East
A gold smelting plant according to him, would be situated in Kogi State for the North Central Zone due to its gold deposit and as a way of supporting artisanal miners in the State.
Adegbite mentioned that Kano was selected from the North West Zone for the establishment of a gold souk, to bring back the old glory of gold trade in the state Kano.
“What we are doing in Kano essentially, is not just a market, we are going to have people in the market who can turn the gold into product by transforming your raw gold, add value which can give you jewelleries”, he further explained.
The Minister, aid the Federal Government would explore the Public-Private- Partnership initiative, to run the businesses.