Solid minerals investors decry illegal mining in Edo

Investors in solid minerals in Edo State have decried the activities of illegal miners in the state with a call on the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to urgently halt the trend so as to protect the investments of genuine players in that sector of the economy.

The miners who made the cal in Benin, the state capital, on Sunday, made particular reference to the activities of illegal miners in Dagbala Community of Akoko-Edo Local Government Area, which boasts of a large deposit of gold in commercial quantity and has become the operational base of illegal miners thereby disrupting the activities of genuine mining license holders.

They also condemned the shabby way the various petitions they had written to the appropriate ministry, through the Zonal Mines Office in the state had been treated, adding that some of them had been forced to abandon their sites because of the activities of illegal miners to avert physical clashes.

The call was made on behalf of the miners, by the Operating Officer of Macana Company Limited, Dagbala, Mr. Fatai Jimoh, after a meeting between the management of the company and the traditional institution of Dagbala led by the Okaku I of Dagbala, HRH Albert Agbebaku to discuss ways on how the company can return to site after being forced to abandon its operational area because of the activities of illegal miners.

Jimoh said the activities of the illegal miners had also robbed the Federal Government of the much-needed revenue.

According to him, “The illegal miners have graduated from working without papers, while some with papers work in an area where they do not have jurisdiction or license to mine gold or any mineral. They parade deceit license to hoodwink security men when they are confronted”.

“We have reported to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, we wrote to the mining cadastral office, Abuja over this matter. My advice is that the ministry should come out with stronger terms and free itself from the possibility of trying to support any miners without a license. The mining cadastral office should do more than they are doing whenever there is a report. The security operatives need to learn how to identify fake mining licenses. What I mean is that every license has its longitude and latitude. Whoever says he has a license can only work where its longitude and latitude stipulate,” he submitted.

Jimoh also called on the traditional setting in the area to come to terms with the fact that “all minerals belong to the Federal Government and they should respect the mining cadastral office and stop giving consent for existing places.”

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