28 December 2013, Abuja – Leader of the ministerial task force team, Department of Mines Inspectorate, Engineer Frank Odoom, has warned illegal miners in Niger State to legalise their activities through the formation of mining cooperatives and possession of mining licenses/leases or be faced with the law.
Speaking when he led a delegation of the team on inspection and sensitization to Mailumba- Garin Gabas Mine Site in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State where gold is mined and pre-processed, he directed that in line with Nigeria’s 2007 Minerals and Mining Act and the 2011 Mining Regulations, informal miners should stop operations at the mine site and at other places in Niger State until they formalize their operations.
He said the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development is 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 and security agencies would be alerted to apprehend their sponsors,” he added.
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 earlier revealed that the miners were mining gold and processing it without any mineral title in the area while also using Mercury and the dry milling process for the gold ore.
Investigations revealed that the miners were not aware of the health implications of the use of mercury and the dry milling method for extracting gold.
*Ruth Tene Natsa, Leadership