By George Edomwonyi
The Management of Macana Company Limited, an investor in solid minerals in Edo, has urged the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development to urgently tackle the activities of illegal miners operating in the state.
The company said there was need to tackle illegal mining, particularly in Dagbala, Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the state.
The company made the call on Sunday after a meeting between its management and the traditional institution of Dagbala led by the Okaku I of Dagbala, Albert Agbebaku.
Mr Fatai Jimoh, Macana Operating Officer, while briefing journalists after the meeting, said Dagbala, which has a large deposit of gold had become the operational base of illegal miners.
He said the illegal miners disrupt the activities of licensed miners.
Jimoh said the firm had written several petitions to the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development over the illegal miners in Dagbala, adding that they were still waiting for action from the ministry against the illegal miners.
Jimoh said the activities of illegal miners were also robbing the Federal Government of the much needed revenue in the sector.
“The illegal miners have graduated from working without papers to working with papers in areas where they do not have jurisdiction or licence to mine for gold or any mineral.
“They parade fake licences to hoodwink security men when they are confronted.
“We have reported the matter to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development. The ministry should come out strongly against such illegal activities.
“The Mining Cadastral Office should do more than they are doing whenever there is a report,’’ he said.
Jimoh said that the security operatives needed to learn how to identify fake mining licences.
“What I mean is that every licence has its longitude and latitude, whoever says he has a licence can only work where its longitude and latitude stipulate, he said.
He said the traditional rulers needed to be reminded that all minerals belonged to the Federal Government and they (rulers) should respect the Mining Cadastral Office and stop giving consent to illegal miners for existing places,” he said. (NAN)