03 May 2013, Abuja – The Federal Government plans to intoduce new measures that would tighten the regulatory frameworks on mining with a view to curbing the activitiesof illegal miners in the country.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Linus Awute, disclosed this said what has been promoting illegal mining is the granting of licences to those who lack the capacity to survive in the business.
He said: “The only thing that has promoted illegal mining in recent times is where some people who have acquired licences to do business in a particular cadastral unit, at the end of the day, didn’t prove to have the capacity to do that business.
“So, that creates a loophole for the encroachment of those who can go in, scratch the ground and do other things and then get something out of it and then at the cost of the environment without any royalty accruing to government.
“What we are doing now is to ensure that those with mineral titles and are not doing anything with them are brought to face the full wrath of the law, which is nothing other than the revocation of their licences and when that happens, the licences will be issued to anyone who has the capacity, the financial capacity as well as a minimum work plan with a given timeline to do what he is supposed to do”.
According to him, the Federal Government has established a special intervention fund to address the financial needs of investors in the mining sector.