Artisanal and Small Scale Miners in Niger State have been advised to legalize their operations through the formation of mining cooperatives and possession of mining licenses/leases.
The advice was given by Engr. Frank Odoom of the Department of Mines Inspectorate in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development who was the leader of a ministerial taskforce team on inspection and sensitization to Mailumba- Garin Gabas Mine Site in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State where Gold is mined and processed.
Engr. Odoom directed that the informal miners should stop operations at the mine site and at other places in Niger State until they formalize their operations in line with Nigeria’s 2007 Minerals and Mining Act and the 2011 Mining Regulations.
The ministerial taskforce team leader assured that the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development was ready to facilitate the processing of their applications to formalize their operations in the State.
In order to stop the informal mining of gold in the area and other parts of Niger State, the taskforce team leader said that security agencies would be alerted to apprehend their sponsors.
The Youth Leader and Village Head of the Community, Mr. Ismaila Iliyasu assured that the community would assist in stopping the informal operations of the miners in the area through collaboration with security agencies and officers of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
It was revealed that the miners were mining gold and processing it without any mineral title in the area. The miners were also using mercury and the dry milling process for the gold ore. Investigation revealed that the miners were not aware of the health implications of the use of mercury and the dry milling method for extracting gold.
Two of the miners, Mohammed Sani and Haruna Dankano said that they were happy about the visit and expressed the readiness of their colleagues to formalize their operations in line with the 2007 Minerals and Mining Act and the 2011 Mining Regulations of the sector.
Another member of the ministerial taskforce team, Mr. Yunusa Mohammed of the Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Department in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, said that through the formalization of their activities the miners would enjoy extension services and other benefits.
In his response, the Chief Executive Officer of the Albino Foundation, Mr Jake Epelle, represented by Mr. Afam Kasim, said the Federal Government has treated over 500 people with Albinism free of charge and so reduced the number of albinos death over the year.
He stressed that their visit was for the Ministry to further take the cause of the albinos to the Federal Government.
Mr. Epelle expressed the Foundation’s gratitude to the Minister and the Management of the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, for their quest to support the cause of albinism in the country.
Federal Ministry of Information (FMI) Press Release
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