June 15, 2024

Owners of licenced units of land mined by illegal miners ‘ll lose titles, FG warns


By Gabriel Ewepu

The Federal Government has vowed that owners of licenced units of land mined by illegal miners will have their titles revoked.

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake made this vow on Saturday while reacting to another mine collapse in Niger State, which claimed three lives as contained in a statement signed by the Special Assistant on Media, Segun Tomori.

According to the statement, Alake said preliminary investigations showed that the collapsed mine was in the area under Exploration Licence 43113 of JURASSIC MINES Limited in Adunu Village, Paikoro Local Government Area, Niger State.

The Minister made it clear again that an exploration licence is given to an applicant to confirm if the site is suitable for the proposed mineral exploration. It does not authorise the applicant to engage in mining.

The statement reads in part, “Alake noted that the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development received reports of the accident at about 4.45 pm. on Thursday which indicated that three people had died when a tunnel collapsed on them while mining gold in the site.

“He said further inquiry revealed that the miners were mining illegally.

“The ministry promptly mobilised its mine officers and headed to the area, arriving at the site around 6.15 pm.

“He said officials were informed that three men were killed in the accident and have since been buried.

“At the time of the visit, work had stopped at the site, and only onlookers were seen. The coordinates of the site were taken, and officials returned to Minna at about 8.30 pm.

“The owners of the company were contacted by phone, but they claimed ignorance of happenings in the site. They were then summoned to the office in the state capital”, he said.

However, the Minister pledged to communicate further developments as they unfold.