May 21, 2024

A’Ibom government ejects illegal miners from sites


Ini Billie, Uyo

The Akwa Ibom State Government has started the ejection of illegal miners from their places of operation to protect the environment.

Commissioner of Environment and Mineral Resources, Chief Uno Etim Uno, revealed that it ejected a Chinese mining company, Ruitai Mining Company from its operation base in Esuk Ikim Akeme community, Ibeno Local Government Area, where it was illegally mining Titanium Ore.

Speaking on Tuesday in Uyo, Uno stated that he, alongside the Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security, Brig. Gen. Koko Essien (rtd), on an inspection of Ruitai Mining facility discovered that it was involved in illegal mining.

He explained that the product, black clay-like minerals was discovered in sack bags of 50kg, however, the Managing Director and Director of the company, Zeng Zhonghuan and Huang Ying, were not absent at the site, while the available staff members could not provide any information or documents on their right to operate in the area

He explained that upon the discovery, the government invited the Police and the Army to take over the site pending when the company was cleared to operate, adding that Ruitai was given until Friday this week to present documents qualifying them to mine the mineral.

He stated that further enquiry revealed that the company was an exploration company, whose Board of Directors comprised only Chinese persons, therefore, not eligible to acquire the Small-scale Mining License as they claimed.

He also mentioned that the company operated without conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the area, adding that the company has not submitted the Environmental Management Plan (EMP), among other things.

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