Nigeria News

Nigeria Minerals And Killing Field

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Nigeria News takes a look at the danger in the illegal mining site.

The bloods of innocent Nigerians flow in the gold field of Zamfara where scores were killed over the earthly treasure. Illegal mining has never been abated despite the myriad of regulations put in place by successive governments.

The rate of unemployment is so high that many Nigerians now engage in illegal businesses to survive. Illegal mining is one of the ways and it comes with death.

Mining business is lucrative. I love the telecommunication industry too but somebody once told me that there is a fortune in shipping sector.

In an environment where these sectors are efficiently regulated, the players hardly go to the field, they have their gold mine in their bedrooms.

In this part of the globe where regulation is not tidy, venturing into mining is like seeking a cool way to commit suicide because there is absolute lack of security for field workers.

Like in many other mining fields, Zamfara gold mine is unsafe and that was why many lives were lost in the place a few days ago.

I could remember my trip to Ipapo and Iwere-Ile in Oyo State in search of Tantalite mining field. A company had contracted me to write a report on the mining of “Tantalite” in this areas.

Ipapo is a 25-minute-drive from Iseyin along Saki road. The silent town has a big field of tantalite, which was abandoned for years because illegal miners killed themselves regularly over the solid mineral.

The traditional ruler of Ipapo had to make a report before government could chase out the killer miners who had turned the tantalite field to slaughter slab. Many sons of the town who engaged in the mining business were killed.

After many years, a company had approached the Ministry of Mining and Solid Minerals to explore the site while I was contracted to generate report on this.

Going to the mining site was dreading because there was a limit to where a vehicle could reach. Despite that the tantalite field in Ipapo was not very far from the town, there was no telecommunication signal in the area.

Invariably, journeying into the bush means cutting yourself away from the town without any chance of reaching out to law enforcement agents in case there is danger. We travelled with our loads of foods and drinks clasped on our back as we trekked the narrow path to the mining field.

Occasionally, we met on our way, farmers and hunters with their Dane guns firmly held in between their arms. We had no guns or machetes. “You must be armed to visit this place in the past,” one of the village hunters hired by the firm told us.”

There were armed robbers who hid in the bush waiting for miners to pass. He told us that the illegal miners had their killer squad whose job was to kill and take Tantalite from others. “So everybody carried arms,” the hunter who simply identified himself as Baba Lanlante said.

There are thousands of illegal mining fields in the country that the government has failed to locate. Here, innocent blood are being shed daily by the operators.

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