Stakeholders lament activities of illegal miners in Akoko-Edo Council
Stakeholders and investors in solid minerals have urged the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to end activities of illegal miners in Edo State, especially in Dagbala, Akoko-Edo Council Area.
The Guardian learnt that Akoko-Edo Council has large deposits of gold and has become the operational base of illegal miners, thereby disrupting activities of authentic mining license holders.
Operations Officer of Macana Company Limited in Dagbala, Fatai Jimoh, stated this after a meeting between the management of the company and the traditional council of Dagbala led by the Okaku I of Dagbala, HRH Albert Agbebaku.
The meeting focused on how the company could return to site after abandoning its operations due to activities of the illegal miners in the area.
The miners also expressed reservations that not much was being done on several petitions and call for assistance from the ministry through the state’s zonal mines office, adding that some of them have been forced to abandon their site due to the activities of illegal miners to avoid clashes.
Jimoh said the activities of the miners were also robbing the state and Federal government of the much-needed revenue.
“The illegal miners have graduated from working without papers, while some with papers work in areas where they do not have jurisdiction or license to mine gold or other minerals. They parade fake licence to hoodwink security men when confronted.
“We have reported to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the mining cadastral office in Abuja over the matter. We advice the ministry to adopt stronger terms and free itself from the possibility of trying to support miners without approved licence.
“The mining cadastral office should do more whenever there is a report, while security operatives need to learn how to identify fake mining licences, because every licence has its longitude and latitude. Whoever says he has a licence can only work where its longitude and latitude stipulate.
“Also, the traditional rulers need to know that all minerals belong to the Federal Government and they should respect the mining cadastral office and stop supporting illegal miners in existing locations.”
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