Seven Suspected Illegal Miners Arrested In Osun

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) has arrested seven persons for illegal gold mining in Itagunmodi Community, Atakumosa West local Government area of the state.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Mineral and Natural Resources, Hon. Tunde Ajilore, accompanied by men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps had stormed the community where the illegal gold mining takes place without recourse to public interest.

Parading the suspects, Ajilore said that the state government’s effort to curb the activities of illegal miners underscored the importance of a structured biometric database of miners in the state.

While describing the damage done to the site as too enormous, Ajilore said the activities of the miners amount to economic sabotage, warning that the state government will not fold its arms and allow the situation to continue unchecked.

“As a state, what we are saying is that there is need for us to know how many miners are here, a landlord who does not know how many people is feeding will surely run bankrupt.”

“For the past three months, we close the bush in order to appropriate and know the number of people that operate at the mining site. That is why we requested them to come for biometric so as to know their number. We were able to register about 6,000 miners within one and half month.

Ajilore however reiterated that the government will resist all forms of illegal mining in the state, as it will go all out to bring perpetrators to book in a bid to sanitise the system.

Speaking, the State Commandant of the NSCDC Mr. Aboluwaye Akinwande said investigation is on and anyone found culpable will be charged to court.

“Our next action is to conduct a preliminary investigation, then ensure we follow it up before charging them to court.”

Osun Concludes Biometric Registration Of 5,000 Artisanal Miners

The State of Osun will in no distant time be free from the scourge of illegal mining. This is because efforts geared towards eradicating the menace that costs both government and the public is by the day yielding positive results. Findings have revealed that the government with several interventions has restored sanity into the process of exploring mineral resources in the state, curbed environmental degradation and importantly increase the state’s Internally Generated Revenue.

 

In the new initiative revealed over the weekend, the state government of Osun through Chams Plc, a leading technology company said it has taken biometric details of over 5,000 miners in several mining communities across the state.

 

The Osun government said with about 5,000 miners now registered biometrically with the state, adequate security can now be guaranteed around mining host communities. According to the government, the registration, though continuous, has given the state adequate database structure that will create opportunities for artisanal miners, saying with the database, government will organise the artisanal miners into Cooperatives for empowerment.

 

Speaking to journalists, some residents of the state have lauded the government for the special designated initiative in curbing the activities of illegal miners which in one way or the other do cause havoc to the environment. They held that the new procedure will make government’s mining inspectors to be of immense help to the miners as well as the communities involved to ensure both parties benefit from the process.

 

In the past years, the sector has experienced all sort of uncoordinated activities as many illegal miners operate without government regulation. This instigated the government to employ services of mining experts with the aim of bringing sanity into the sector believed to have been neglected.

 

Speaking with newsmen, Special Adviser to the Governor on Forestry, Natural and Mineral Resources, Mr. Babatunde Ajilore, with his point buttressed by the Project Manager, Dr Abiodun Oladipo said that the government had painstakingly restored orderliness and put in place proper regulatory measure to curb illegal mining in the state.

 

He said government’s effort to know those behind mining activities in the state was borne out of its determination to protect lives and property of the residents against environmental degradation and as well raise the revenue bar of the state.

 

Osun Concludes Biometric Registration of 5,000 Artisanal Miners

The State of Osun will in no distant time be free from the scourge of illegal mining. This is because efforts geared towards eradicating the menace that costs both government and the public is by the day yielding positive results.

Findings reveal that the government with several interventions has restored sanity into the process of exploring mineral resources in the state, curbed environmental degradation and importantly increase the state’s Internally Generated Revenue.

In the new initiative revealed over the weekend, the state government of Osun through Chams Plc, a leading technology company said it has taken biometric details of over 5,000 artisanal miners in several mining communities across the state.

The Osun government said with about 5,000 miners now registered biometrically with the state, adequate security can now be guaranteed around mining host communities.

According to the government, the registration, though continuous, has given the state adequate database structure that will create opportunities for artisanal miners, saying with the database, Government will organize the artisanal miners into Cooperatives for empowerment.

Speaking to journalists, some residents of the State lauded government for the initiative in curbing the activities of illegal miners which causes havoc to the environment.

They held that the new procedure will make government’s mining inspectors to be of immense help to the miners as well as the communities involved to ensure both parties benefit from the process.

In the past years, the sector has experienced all sort of uncoordinated activities as many illegal miners operate without government regulation.

This was why government employed services of mining expert with the aim of bringing sanity into the sector believed to have been neglected.

Speaking with newsmen, Special Adviser to the Governor on Forestry, Natural and Mineral Resources, Mr. Babatunde Ajilore, flanked by the Project Manager, Dr Abiodun Oladipo said that the government had painstakingly restored orderliness and put in place proper regulatory measure to curb illegal mining in the state.

He said government’s effort to know those behind mining activities in the state was borne out of its determination to protect lives and property of the residents against environmental degradation and as well raise revenue bar of the state.

“The governor initiative on precious stones which gold is one of them started in May, 2017 and it is targeted at organising the activities of the miners. There has been a lot of chaos regarding environmental degradation and a lot of security concerns but we have painstakingly taken rigorous actions to curb lawlessness.

“We are able to identify the dealers, agents and labourers. All our approaches are done in a sustainable manner so that the environment is protected and future generation can benefit from the legacy,” Ajilore said.

“We have met with the agents who are numerous in number because there are reports that many of these people come from West African nations to mine the gold.

He noted that the State has written to the federal government to create a synergy and invoke the mining Act 2017, to foster better understanding between local, state and federal governments.

“We have gotten the approval from the federal government to enact this and the State of Osun governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has inaugurated the committee which is called Mineral Resources Management Committee (MIREMCO).

The committee comprises of the Federal mining officer, representative of Federal Ministry of Environment and other major stakeholders in the state.

 

W’Bank Wants Nigeria On Africa’s Mining Map Again

After years of being left out on from the mining mad, the World Bank has said Nigeria deserves to be on the African mining map again

It said the country would boost its economic fortunes and further create good jobs for its teeming populace if the mining model was holistically revisited with the aim of transforming the subsector.

The Senior Mining Specialist, Energy and Extractive Industries at the World Bank, Francisco Igualada, said this, adding that, “In Nigeria, we have managed to develop a real ‘partnership’ with the Federal Government and we are still working along with some of the states that have higher mining potential.”

Igualada also said, “The World Bank follows a kind of value chain that brings those countries we support from non-renewable resources to a stage in which sustainable development may take place. Each country has its own idiosyncrasies/characteristics.

“I am particularly excited about two projects – our critical involvement in the Democratic Republic of Congo in support of the rationalisation of the sector through nearly five years as well as my responsibility in managing our recently approved $150m loan project for developing the Nigerian mineral sector and diversifying it from its dependency on other sectors like oil and gas.

“This is as President Muhammadu Buhari has clearly indicated in his inaugural speech, two sectors needing continuous development in Nigeria – agriculture and mining.”

From the bank’s side, Igualada said he was looking forward to contributing to transforming the potential resources into some tangible exploration and exploitation mineral projects, thus bringing economic prosperity and jobs.

“Nigeria is the first African economy and really needs the employment that mining and all types of value-chain including local content can bring,” he stressed.

He said, “We need to get it right and this means that a strong sector foundation is a must. Afterwards, facilitating downstream sector developments and the enhancement of competitiveness need to happen as a logical result.”

 

FG Declares Support For Foreign Investors In Mining

The Federal Government has declared support for the success of nickel project and other investors in the mining sector as a way of actualizing its economic diversification plan.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, said this in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Olayinka Oyebode in Australia and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday.

Oyebode quoted Fayemi as having made the statement in his presentation at the opening session of the Africa Down Under (ADU) Conference in Perth, Australia.

He said the minister spoke to a gathering of African Ministers of Mines and Minerals, policy makers, investors, operators and mining financiers where Nigeria’s nickel discovery formed major highlights.
The minister’s aide said it was a gathering where the massive deposit of world class Nickel in Dagoma, Kaduna State and its prospect as a game changer for the Nigerian economy dominated the discussion.

Fayemi, who presented a paper entitled: “Mining for Shared Prosperity: Why Nigeria, Why Now”, said the government would support the nickel project and other investors to move from resource-find to exploration and processing.

The minister, who outlined government’s support for the nickel project as well as other genuine investments in the mining sector, noted that government would not compromise its laws and regulations.

He, however, urged investors in the sector to engage and build mutual and beneficial relationships with the host communities through the state government.

Fayemi also urged investors to work with the state government in their community relations engagement in order to build a harmonious working relationship with the host communities.

“You need the cooperation of the host communities as well as the state government.

“Even when our constitution allows the Federal Government to issue your license, you need the understanding and cooperation of the state government and the host communities whose environment you are going to work.

“The host communities should have a stake in your investment.

“Once that is done, they would see themselves as part- owners and would ensure non-sabotage of your efforts. ‘’This, we have learned through experience,” he said.

Speaking on the nickel deposit, he told the conference that it was reputed to be a high grade and a “rare find” and which covered about 20-kilometre square in Dagoma village, Southern Kaduna.

The minister said security of the environment was one of the first major steps taken by the Nigerian government to ensure the success of the project.

He said that government was also collaborating with Comet Minerals limited (that discovered the mineral) on sundry other aspects of the project.

Fayemi said the nickel discovery could be a game changer if properly managed, adding that government would support in line with the wealth creation and job creation agenda of its economic diversification plan.

He listed the Federal Government’s incentives for investors to include tax holidays (which is renewable), duty waiver on imported mining equipment and 100 ownership of business concern, among others.

The minister, however, said that government would insist on best practices with emphasis on enforcement of law and order.

On government’s effort at curtailing illegal mining, Fayemi said the formalization of the informal miners remained one of the government’s approaches to solve the menace of illegal mining.

In his presentation, Mr Hugh Morgan, Director of Comet Minerals Limited, attested to the support of ministry on the nickel discovery.

Morgan said his company had started engaging the community, having drawn the land ownership map of the areas covered by the nickel deposit.

A Professor of Geology, Ms Lousia Lawrence, said a lot of work had gone into authenticating the high-quality nickel deposit.

This, she said had further proved that the nickel deposit could be the game changer for Nigeria.

According to Wikipedia, Nickel is a chemical element with symbol Ni and atomic number 28.

It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge, belonging to the transition metals, hard and ductile.

As a compound, nickel has a number of niche chemical manufacturing uses, such as a catalyst for hydrogenation.

Nickel is an essential nutrient for some microorganisms and plants that have enzymes with nickel as an active site

Mining Sector To Receive $600m Investment Fund

While declaring open the ongoing three-day National Mining Summit, with the theme, ‘Unearthing Nigeria’s Mining Sector’, in Abuja, the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, disclosed that the country’s mining sector will receive $600 million investment fund through the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, the Nigerian Stock Exchange and others.

 

He expressed optimism that with the recently launched Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, the country will achieve its target of seven per cent economic growth rate by 2020, with more aggressive growth rate of 8.54 percent for the mining sector.

 

The Acting President said the sector will contribute $27 billion to the country’s GDP in 2025. He said:

“I am pleased to be here today joining you at this national mining summit. Importantly it underscores the earth moving task before us and the enormous opportunities. Yes we need to unearth this incredible source of growth and development for us before our continent.

 

“This summit marks another step towards achieving the Africa mining vision.  That vision adopted by African heads of states back in 2009 aims at leveraging Africa vast mineral resources, to liberate the continent from the shackles of poverty and perpetual underdevelopment and to change the African narrative from the so called resource curse, mineral field conflicts, severe environmental degradation and marginalised host communities, to one of sustainable growth and social economic development underpinned by transparent, equitable and optimum exploitation of mineral resources and inclusive development.

 

“For us in Nigeria, this summit is also a key step towards implementing our economic recovery and growth plan launched in April by President Buhari. The mining sector is a priority for the Nigerian government and a crucial part of our economic growth and diversification agenda.

 

“We have also secured funding from both domestic and international sources for investment in the solid mineral industry. From the public purse, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has been granted access to the mining sector component of our natural resources development fund for a sum of N30bn , approximately a $100m, an intervention fund from the federal government.

FEC Approves N30bn For Mining

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N30 billion intervention fund for mining exploration in the country.

The Minister of Mining and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of FEC meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He was accompanied by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi.

Fayemi said that the fund that will come from 1.68% of the Federation Account will mainly focus on mining exploration.

He said: “FEC rectified the president’s anticipatory approval for Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to qualify to access the national resources fund.

“You will recall that in August FEC approved the road map for the growth and development of the mining sector.

“In recognition of Mr. President’s campaigns promises to Nigerians‎ and in particular his consistent statement to diversification particularly in agriculture and mining sector, Council ratified the approval of N30 billion intervention fund for the mining sector. It will be highly focused on exploration. Exploration is the heart of mining, if you don’t search you won’t find.

“You have heard all sorts of talks about how rich Nigeria is in mineral resources but the quantity, quality, the geological prospectively has been a challenge because we have neglected the sector for such a long time.” He said

He also said that there is need for investment grade geological data if Nigeria must attract mining investment into the country.

According to him, smaller countries like Burkina Faso spend averagely $300 million a year on exploration.

He added: “This is why Council approved this for mining and this is significant because this is the accessing of natural source development fund which has been made 1.68 per cent of the federation account. It is an equivalent of the ecological fund and the Education Trust Fund.

“It is meant primarily for agriculture sector, mining sector and the water resources sector. And this will cover exploration primarily but also research and development in partnership with our universities, it will also cover security and mining in partnership with the ministries of Interior and Defence and the DSS just to tackle the menace of illegal mining across the country. It will also support small scale miners with grants,” he stated

The Council, he said, also stressed the importance of inter-ministerial coordination and for the Ministry to work with the ministries of transportation, power, works and housing, environment on safer mining practices and ministry of health ‎to help build a multi-sectoral focus on mining and also encourage private sector investment in the sector.

He said that the government is already in negotiation with sovereign investment on mining in order ‎to access private capital to mining and the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The guidelines, he said, will be ready in a month’s time.

Amaechi disclosed that the Council approved advisers that would sit to negotiate with General Electric (GE) towards concessioning the railway.

‎He said: “For the Transport sector I’m sure you are aware of an attempt to concessioned the Railway to General Electric (GE), Council approved the advisers that would sit with GE as our own experts to negotiate.

“The narrow Gauge railway will to a great extent assist the agriculture, mines and steel development ministries in the transportation of the extracted minerals. We are rehabilitating at no cost to government the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, which include Port Harcourt, Aba, Umuahia, Enugu, Makurdi, Jos, Gombe, Bauchi to Borno.

“Then Lagos to Kano will include Lagos, Abeokuta, Ibadan, ‎Ilorin, Kano, Funtua, Zaria and to Kaura Namoda, we are rehabilitating all of them.

“It is essentially ‎to encourage freight movement, we have over 30 million worth of freight on the Lagos Kano route for which presently we are moving slightly above 100 tones. While the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri is currently moving nothing but we are anticipating 11 million tones that can be moved from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri.” He said

According to him, the rehabilitation will encourage movement of cargos and passengers‎.

He said that GE will do everything required to rehabilitate and invest on other railway infrastructure.

“GE is proposing to manage for 25 years‎ to recover their investments. Nigerian government has not agreed and that is what our advisers will sit with GE to agree,” he added.

The advisers, he said, included African finance corporations.

Osun Loses Millions Of Naira To Illegal Mining, Exploration – Government

…As State Task Force Team Arrests Unlawful Miners

By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

The Chairman, Osun State Task Force on Mining and Forestry, Elder Adelowo Adebiyi, has disclosed that the state has been losing millions of naira to illegal mining and exploration.

Elder Adebiyi who described Osun as a state being blessed with God-given natural resources and other rich solid mineral deposits, also said the state had recorded several incidents of unauthorized mining, exploration and deforestation.

The Chairman of the State Task Force on Mining and Forestry made the disclosure while touring journalists round the site where illegal mining and exploration were allegedly committed at Olode Falola village in Ikire, Irewole Local Government Area of the state.

Narating the incidence, Elder Adebiyi said, the suspects were arrested and handed over to the police following the Task Force visit to the site where the illegal mining and exploration is being perpetrated.

According to him, “We were here at Olode Falola village in Ikire, Irewole Local Government Area of the state sequel to a tip we received that some illegal miners have been exploring our solid mineral resources without exploring and mining licenses

“Fortunately for us, our task force team in company of security operatives met the perpetrators on the spot working with different exploratory apparatus like tractors, driller, generator, elevator among others to defraud the state of her resources illegally.

“We got them arrested and we handed them over to the police for further investigation.

Speaking on the procedural steps for mining and exploration, Elder Adebiyi said for anyone to be allowed to either explore or extract the resources such explorer or miner must have fulfilled all the constitutional requirements by obtaining the mining license from the federal government as well as operational permit from the state.

He confirmed that the interrogation with the suspects depicted that they were neither licensed nor authorized to explore the state mineral resources.

Elder Adebiyi who frowned at the occurrence which he described as high class illegal mining, however said the deploration of heavy machines to the site by the suspects unconstitutionally showed the level of losses being experienced by the state to illegal mining.

He expressed satisfaction towards the apprehension of the suspects, saying the state had over the years recorded similar cases.

Elder Adebiyi also said the suspects since being apprehended were unable to justify why they were exploring the resources of the sate.

He said “since the arrest, the suspects had not been able to justify the purpose of their coming to the state to explore.

“Information at our disposal revealed that these people have breached the constitutional provisions for mining and exploration because they failed to present to us any legal document to facilitate the purpose to which they came for.

“Till this present moment these people according to the police investigation were unable to authenticate what they came here to do.

“Though they claimed that they are processing their license but as a matter of fact they are not because no miner is allowed to explore without concrete evidence and permit to do so and these suspects couldn’t present any evidence to that effect.

He said the suspects were caught exploring the lime stones and feldspar which according him are main deposits in the axis.

When asked on the efforts of the state towards the protection of her resources, Elder Adebiyi said the inauguration of the Task Force on mining and forestry was part of the effort to ensure that people comply and adhere strictly to the rules and regulations necessitate mining and exploration of mineral resources.

He expressed displeasure over the way and manner at which people engaging in illegality, saying legal procedures are already in place for the people who are into mining and exploration.

The Task Force Chairman who attributed mining to an intensive business however elucidated that state was not in any way interested to disturb any person’s business but to enforce the laid down laws by ensuring that miners follow the due process.

He warned people against illegality, saying the state would not for whatever reason tolerate any act of indiscipline and unlawful mining.

Adebiyi assured those who are interested in mining the required cooperation, saying efforts are in top gear to develop the non-oil sectors of the state.

Elder Adebiyi therefore charged men of Nigeria Police Force to display utmost loyalty and competence in the course of their investigation, assuring the state of adequate security of lives and properties.
Meanwhile, efforts to speak to the state Police Public Relations Officer on the development were unsuccessful, as various calls and text messages sent across his phone were either switched off or not responding.

FG Projects N25bn Revenue From Mining By 2025

The Federal Government on Sunday said that over $25bn could be generated from the mining sub-sector of Nigeria’s economy when properly harnessed with continuous investments.

The Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said this at the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of Okpella Cement Plc by Dangote Group. The cement plant is valued at over $1bn, with six million metric tonnes per annum capacity in Okpella, Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State.

At the ceremony were the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi; Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje; a former governor of Ekiti State, Niyi Adebayo; a former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba; and the Chairman of Forte Oil, Chief Femi Otedola.

Fayemi, who lamented that only 0.34 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product comes from the mining industry, hinted of plans by the Federal Government to meet with the 36 state governors to fashion out strategies to make land accessible to investors in the mining industry.

“Today, mining represents 0.34 per cent of our total gross domestic product. If more entrepreneurs pursue the example we have seen here today, mining will directly and indirectly contribute over $25bn or N5tn to our national economy by the year. That will mean new jobs for everyone.

“It will mean more tax revenue for host states such as Edo. For the Federal Government, it will mean more local content development. It will mean a greater level of industrial sophistication for our economy. It will mean less reliance on oil for our survival and it will mean greater conservation for our foreign exchange in the country,” he said.

While commending Dangote Group and the Edo State Government for embracing Federal Government’s industrialisation policy and desire to unlock the full potential of the sector, Fayemi urged the company and other investors in the industry to fulfil their obligations to their host communities.

This, he said, would engender smooth mining operations.

On his part, Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, described the new plant as a vote of confidence on the state government.

Ajaokuta To Be Private-Sector Driven – Minister

The Federal Government has reinstated its resolve to make the Ajaokuta Steel Company work in the bid to step up the country’s technological development.

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, disclosed this while speaking at the 2016 Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit in Kaduna on Thursday.

Fayemi assured the participants, mainly investors and business owners, of the Federal Government’s commitment to making the Ajaokuta Steel Company work.

“Ajaokuta will work, but in a manner that is private-sector driven,” the Minister said.

He explained that government was prepared to give the steel company to any serious-minded investor with a workable plan and provable evidence of finance, capable of turning the enterprise around.

Dr. Fayemi said the technical and financial abilities of the investor as well as his commitment to make the steel company work effectively are of greater importance to the government than the amount the government would get from its sale.

He noted that aside serving as a major support for the technological base of the country, the company, when in full operation, would also generate thousands of employment opportunities.
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The minister said it was unacceptable for government to keep footing the huge wage bill arising from maintaining the work force at the company.

Fayemi lamented that oil had blinded the country for a long time from looking the way of other viable economic resource corridors for diversifying the revenue base of its economy.

Fayemi, who hailed Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s investment drive in Kaduna State, said the Federal Government is set to partner with state governments in a strategic manner to ensure inclusive development.

He urged state governments from the same geopolitical zone to collaborate to create recourse corridor to take full advantage of mineral deposits around them.

Governor el-Rufai had had earlier remarked that Kaduna State had more gold reserve than South Africa and decried the loss from informal mining activities as well as illegal export of precious minerals that are unaccounted for.

He said the state will deepen the working relationship with the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development in turning the state’s mining activities into a huge success, adding that he was optimistic the Ministry would provide solutions to the illegal activities in the sector.

Nigeria Loses 10kg Of Gold Daily – Fayemi

About 100 kilogrammes of gold leaves the country every day without any record, Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said.

Fayemi said this in a lecture delivered on Friday at the National Defence College, Abuja, according to a statement issued on Sunday by the Special Assistant to the Minister on Media, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode.

The minister, who spoke on ‘Solid Minerals and National Development in Nigeria,’ lamented that the country was losing a lot to illegal mining activities being carried out by some citizens aided by some foreigners.

He said the ministry was collaborating with relevant security agencies to ensure that the ugly trend was stopped.

He said, “Many of them do not recognise these minerals. So, in most cases they do not know the value of what the person is taking out illegally.

“So, we are partnering with security agencies, the Customs, Immigration, Police and Civil Defence to assist us.

“Once we get the regulatory framework right and create conducive environment for investment to thrive, we shall witness huge investment in the sector, create wealth and employment opportunities.”

Fayemi challenged security agencies in the country to come up with technology that could be deployed to track the use of explosives for which permits were given in the country.

He said part of his tasks as minister in charge of the solid minerals was to sign explosives permits for use in quarries and mining sites, adding that it was important to track their use as part of efforts to curtail activities of insurgent groups and violent crimes in the country.