The Cross River State Government says it has discovered new solid mineral deposits across the three Senatorial Districts of the state and if fully tapped would tremendously transform the economy of the state and reduce its over dependence on federal allocations.
The search and discovery of the resources follow a geological mapping of the state by some Chinese geologists from Shian Xi Province of China after an MOU signed between the Country and Cross River State.
Some of the minerals discovered in commercial quantity were Uranium, iron ore, manganese, tourmaline, barites, marbles, Galina, spherite, coal, kaolin, sulphite, rutile as well as new limestone deposits.
The State’s Commissioner for Solid Minerals, Hon. George Oben’echi, who spoke to journalists at Kokunne forest in Mkpani, Yarkurr Local Government Area of the state, where a huge deposit of limestone was discovered said the new discoveries could be turned to wealth for the state if properly utilised.
“We have about 33 solid minerals without having the idea of their value. Going from the nooks and crannies of the state, we discovered that we have a huge deposit of magnetic Iron Ore. The one we have in Mfamosing is different from the one we discovered in Boki and Ikom and that is what the steel company needs. In Yala Local Government Area in Okpoma, we have about 60million metric tonnes of salt”.
On the mining prospect, Obenechie disclosed that “Government will create an enabling environment to ensure that everything we need is acquired even as we will always go through those processes to enable us mine these resources and for investors, we want to assure that bureaucracy will be put in check and we will target all that will make us move forward.”
A mining engineer and an interpreter for the Chinese team, Mr. Zhao Zhiwei, opined that, although the team awaits the result from the laboratory test, the mineral resources are good and of premium quality.
For the Communities and its Leaders, the discoveries if fully harnessed will change their fortunes and offer jobs to the youths.
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