22 September 2012, Abuja – The Federal Government said it would soon deploy the Igoli and Wet Milling Machines (crushers) from South Africa in three mineral processing centres in Anka, Bukkuyum and Maru Local Government Areas of Zamfara State.
The machines which came into the country under the Safer Mining Programme in Zamfara State is for the processing of gold ores to prevent re-occurrence of lead poisoning.
A statement from the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development in Abuja quoted the Minister, Musa Mohammed Sada, as announcing this while declaring open a three-day training programme on safety, health and environmental issues in mining.
The training was organised by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development for artisanal and small scale cooperatives in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital under the Safer Mining Programme in Zamfara State.
The minister stated that more training programmes and extension services would be provided for the artisanal and small scale mining cooperatives in the state.
He was represented at the event by the Director of Planning Policy Analysis and Monitoring in the ministry, Mr. John B.G. Mshelia, through whom the minister advised artisanal and small scale miners all over the country to form cooperatives in order to benefit from various training programmes and extension services offered by the ministry for sustainable mining in the country.
Urging the participants to ensure they benefitted from the programme by taking it seriously, he also told them to imbibe and practice what they were taught at the event.
Safety kits for mining operations were distributed to the artisanal and small scale miners at the training, which was flagged off by the minister.
It attracted about 50 artisanal and small scale miners cooperatives in Zamfara State, non-governmental organisations, investors, stakeholders, the media, officials of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, the Zamfara State Ministry of Environment and Solid Minerals Development.
Mouktar Lugga, Zamfara State Commissioner for Environment and Solid Minerals Development, who was represented by a Director in the ministry, Kabiru Morai, thanked the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development for organising the training programme and assured them that the state would continue to support the federal government to ensure safer and sustainable mining activities in the state.
Also speaking, the Director of Artisanal and Small Scale Mining in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Obiora Azubike, told the participants that their registration as artisanal and small scale Mining cooperatives enables them to access some privileges the ministry gives to cooperatives.