FG warns illegal miners as another mine collapses in Niger

It stated that an exploration licence was  given to an applicant to confirm if the site was suitable for the proposed mineral exploration, but does not authorise the applicant to engage in mining.

FG warns illegal miners as another mine collapses in Niger
Niger mine Collapse
Fg warns illegal miners as another mine collapses in niger
Niger mine collapse

The Federal Government has warned illegal miners and cautioned land owners against illegal mining operations as another mine collapsed in Niger State.

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake, issued the warning in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Segun Tomori, on Saturday in Abuja.

The warning was issued in the aftermath of another incident of a mine collapse in Niger, which reportedly claimed three lives.

BRANDPOWER reports that the collapse occurred on Thursday at Bazakwoi, a village in Adunu community, Paikoro Local Government Area of Niger, where local miners were reportedly illegally mining for gold.

BRANDPOWER recalls that a similar incident occurred on June 3 at Galadima Kogo, Shiroro LGA of Niger State, where more than 30 people were reportedly trapped.

According to the statement, owners of licenced units of land mined by illegal miners will lose their titles.

The minister stated that preliminary investigations showed that the collapsed mine was in an area under Exploration Licence 43113 of JURASSIC MINES Limited in Adunu Village, Paikoro Local Government Area, Niger State.

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It stated that an exploration licence was  given to an applicant to confirm if the site was suitable for the proposed mineral exploration, but does not authorise the applicant to engage in mining.

While addressing the ministry’s response, Alake confirmed  receiving news of the accident around 4:45 pm on Thursday, where three people died in a gold mining tunnel collapse at the site.

He further stated that inquiries revealed that the  miners were operating illegally.

“The ministry promptly mobilised its mine officers, who arrived at the site around 6:15 pm.

“Officials were informed that three men were killed in the accident and have since been buried.

“At the time of the visit, work had stopped at the site, and only onlookers were seen. The coordinates of the site were taken, and officials returned to Minna at about 8.30 pm.

“The owners of the company were contacted by phone, but they claimed ignorance of happenings in the site. They were then summoned to the office in the state capital,” he said.

The minister stated that he would communicate further developments as they unfold.

 

Trapped workers

Those trapped include the site manager identified as Ibrahim Ishaku and dozens of miners and other workers.

Insecurity and difficult terrain are hindering rescue operations of miners trapped in a pit that collapsed on Sunday in Galadima-Kogo, Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, an official has said.

TheNiger State Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Ahmed Yumu, who disclosed this on Wednesday, also said the ministry and other stakeholders were making efforts to rescue the trapped victims.

“The ministry in collaboration with other agencies and other professional stakeholders are doing their best in seeing that the trapped miners are rescued even though it’s been over 24 hours since the collapse occurred,” the ministry’s spokesperson, Hanibu Wushishi, quoted the commissioner as saying, in a Wednesday statement.

“The rescue efforts are still on despite the difficult terrain, insecurity in the area and the possibility of more collapse if the rescue effort is not done professionally and cautiously.

The mining site belongs to a company identified as African Minerals and Logistics Limited. It collapsed on Sunday following a downpour. Between 30 and 50 people are feared trapped in the pit.

One person was confirmed dead and seven others were rescued with severe injuries. Those trapped include the site manager identified as Ibrahim Ishaku and dozens of workers.

Artisanal mining is common in Niger State and many other parts of Nigeria. Such mining activities are poorly regulated. Poor locals often work as miners in the mines, owned by local and foreign companies, without safety procedures.