The Beninese government has announced that illegal mineral resource quarries will soon be closed.
The council of ministers meeting, held on Wednesday in Cotonou, decided that quarry sites for the exploitation of mineral resources, including sand, laterite, stones and precious substances, are open in most communes, in defiance of the regulations in force.
These uncontrolled activities not only cause environmental damage, but also create insecurity due to the uncontrolled reopening of previously closed sites, the government points out.
The government has therefore decided to put a definitive end to them, by carrying out an exhaustive census of the illegal quarries open in the communes in order to issue authorisations to open and operate artisanal mines to those who are eligible.
Similarly, monitoring teams will be set up to provide timely warning of the opening and exploitation of illegal quarries throughout the country. Mobile control brigades will also be set up to enforce the regulations in force in this area.
Local authorities, in particular mayors, are responsible for issuing authorisations for the opening and operation of these quarries in their respective municipalities and will have to ensure, without complacency, the formal prohibition of unauthorised quarrying activities.