Sixteen Chinese Nationals Arrested In Plateau Over Alleged Illegal Mining
Sixteen Chinese nationals and eight Nigerians have been arrested for massive illegal mining.
The arrest was made in Zurak, Wase Local Government, Plateau State on the orders of the National Security Adviser, Brigadier General Babagana Monguno.
The operation was carried out when Brigadier General Monguno in company with the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, visited some illegal mining sites in the State.
Dr Fayemi said “the present government would not condone any act of illegal mining activities”.
The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, accompanied the Minister and the NSA on the investigation tour.
The arrested Nigerians have been in active connivance with non-Nigerians to carry out massive illegal mining thereby depriving the country of revenue.
Their unwholesome activities have also led to environmental degradation and abandoned mine pits.
An illegal miner, Usman Abubakar (aka Dan China) regarded as one of the most notorious illegal miners in the State has been declared wanted by Brigadier-General Monguno.
He ordered all security agencies to fish out and arrest the notorious illegal miner for economic sabotage.
The Minister of Solid Minerals directed the shutdown of the operations of Solid Unit Limited and Geotess Nigeria Limited in the state.
“Under the Mining Act, the Minister has responsibility to “stop mining [activities] and take any action to ensure orderly development of the mineral resources,” Mr Fayemi added.
Zurak is a key location of substantial mineral deposits especially lead, Zinc, Copper, Tin, Wolframite, Tantalite and other base metals.
Over time, the rate of illegal mining activities recorded around the Zurak/Wase area leading to a huge loss of revenue, minable land and social displacement of the rural communities.