The House of Representatives yesterday mandated its Standing Committee on Solid Minerals Development to invite all stakeholders involved in the process of mapping, licensing, mining and exportation of solid minerals in order to determine the extent or otherwise of compliance with the Mining Act, 2007.
The House also asked the committee to determine the number of licensed miners against the number of unlicensed miners and the number of prosecutions, if any, commenced and convictions secured with regard to the violations of the Act; as well as ascertain the data and value of exploited and exported solid minerals and where they are located, and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative action.
The resolutions of the House followed the adoption of a motion tagged “Call for an End to the Violation of the Mining Act of 2007 by Mining Companies, Individuals and Regulatory Bodies” sponsored by Hon. Lovette Ederin Idisi at plenary.
While moving the motion, Hon. Idisi had noted that the Mining Act of 2007 repealed the Minerals and Mining Act, No. 34 of 1999, and it prohibits unauthorized exploration/exploitation of solid minerals in the country and vests on the Federal Government, the responsibility of implementing the provisions of the Act by creating an enabling environment for the exploration, exploitation and sustainable development of these resources for the benefit of the Nation.
He added that the illegal mining and exportation of gold and barites are going on in the country in clear violation of Section 7 of the Act, which requires any person wishing to export solid minerals to obtain a permit.
He further informed the House of other solid minerals deposits in many states of the federation, ranging from 10 million tons of lead and zinc to be found in about eight states; 7.5 million tons of bentonite and barte in Taraba and Bauchi states; limestone deposits in about eight states; coal deposits in Enugu and some other states; wolframite in Kano, manganese in Kebbi, Katsina and Zamfara states; and Nasarawa states, which alone, has about 29 solid minerals deposits.