The federal government has announced plans to launch a gold purchase scheme by early 2018.
Kayode Fayemi, minister of mines and steel development, made the disclosure at a ministerial briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the scheme aims to increasr revenue accruable from the country’s abundant gold deposit.
He said it would equip artisanal miners and provide extension services and off-take of all gold produced by participants in the scheme.
Fayemi said Kebbi and Osun states will pilot the scheme which would facilitate employment, reduce poverty and increase revenue to the federation account.
The minister added that the purchase scheme would defeat the prevailing underground gold market, and instead attract international buyers of gold.
Outlining achievements and future plans of the ministry, Fayemi pointed to the delivery of a 26,000 line kilometre of electromagnetic data.
He mentioned that characterisation of kaolin had been completed in Ekiti State.
This according to him, involved carrying out mineral and chemical analysis to determine the composition of the kaolin as well as the quality.