The Ministry of Solid Minerals Development has warned foreign operators who sponsor banditry in order to execute illegal mining in the country.
Oladele Alake, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, disclosed this in a statement on Friday by the Ministry’s Head of Press & Public Relations, Alaba Balogun.
Alake issued the warning when a delegation of the Nigeria-China Chamber of Mines led by its National President, Dr Olugbenga Ajala, paid him a courtesy visit in his office at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
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Alake said that the Ministry is committed to establishing a multi-agency task force that will end the activities of illegal miners and their collaborators.
He reiterated that the government has given illegal miners 30 days to become legitimate to continue their trade.
The Minister said this would help “to streamline and structure the Small-Scale Artisanal Miners for maximum yield to the Federal Government.”
He said, “The government will come down firmly on these unscrupulous foreign operators sponsoring banditry to perpetrate illegal mining: let me use this medium to appeal through you to tell those sponsors to desist or face the full wrath of the law.