June 14, 2024

Indigenous miner seeks Alake’s intervention against intimidation 


By Marie-Therese Nanlong

A passionate appeal has been made to the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, to intervene and end the unnecessary interference in the operation of indigenous miners especially in the Kokona local government area of Nasarawa State.

The appeal was made by an indigenous mining company, Timadix Geomin Consult Limited, as the Managing Director of the company, Engr. Tim Eldon addressed journalists in Jos, Plateau State.

Eldon said the undue interference in the operations of the company by agents of the Nasarawa State government and a Chinese company has crippled the activities of the Consult at its mining site.

He explained that Timadix Geomin Consult acquired all the necessary licenses and followed due processes before it began its operations in the local government, but was surprised at the recent developments that led to the suspension of its operations in the area.

He asked that indigenous mining companies with requisite licenses and other requirements be protected and accorded deserved consideration in the scheme of things instead of giving special recognition to foreign companies in the sector.

His words, “We need urgent intervention in this regard. Having acquired exploration licenses in 2022 and invested heavily in lithium exploration, the resource was discovered early in 2024, and suddenly some state and non-state actors developed an interest in acquiring the concession.

“As such, our operation was disrupted and consequently shut down in March 2024 by the Nasarawa State Commissioner of Environment without any prior notice or justification. To our surprise, a Chinese company suddenly appeared from nowhere on the concession without our knowledge or that of the natives who own the community.

“When we asked the natives, they told us that they knew nothing about the sudden appearance of the Chinese but only saw them placing beacons all over the community under the supervision of a Chinese company. It is equally being alleged by the natives that their lands are being sold out without their consent.”

The Managing Director, who called for the immediate suspension of Chinese activities on the concession and conducted a thorough investigation of the matter, expressed disappointment that an indigenous company with the requisite licenses could be treated in such a manner and appealed to the Minister of Solid Minerals Development to, as a matter of urgency, intervene and save the indigenous company from oppression, adding that he has all the papers to back up his claim.

He added, “I want to say categorically that we at Timadix Geomin Consult have our exploration license on this matter duly signed by the Director General of the Nigeria Mining Cadastral Office. We view this ugly development as a ploy to deny us our legitimate rights. Since we started our operations in this community, we have carried out quite a lot of social responsibility in line with the policy of our establishment. We have no problem with our host community.”