Investors and registered miners in solid minerals have expressed their displeasure over the emergence and continual disruptive activities of illegal miners in Edo State, particularly in Dagbala, Akoko-Edo local government area, a community noted for its abundant gold deposit among other solid minerals.
Calling on the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to earnestly come to their aid, the licensed miners disclosed that some of them have been forced to abandon their sites and livelihood to avert violent clashes with the illegal miners.
Fatai Jimoh, operating officer of Macana Company Limited, one of the registered mining companies in the state during a meeting with Albert Agbebaku the traditional leader of Dagbala, noted that the illegal miners who often present deceit license to delude security operatives whenever they are confronted have taken over mining operations in the community, preventing authorised miners from working and also, robbing the federal government of essential revenue.
He appealed to the traditional leader to call the illegal miners to order so that the company alongside other registered miners and investors can return to their site of operation after being forcibly ejected by the illegal miners.
“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 miners without a license,” he said.
Jimoh enjoined the mining cadastral office to take more stringent measures against illegal mining and also, enlighten security operatives on better ways to identify fake mining licences and understand the longitudes and latitudes of mining operations to enhance mining control.
He added that traditional leaders in the various communities need to be duly informed that all solid minerals in their localities belong to the federal government and should stop giving consents for mining in their domains without the government’s consent.