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FG shuts illegal mining site in FCT

The Federal Government has shut an illegal mining site at Guabe in Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as part of its…

The Federal Government has shut an illegal mining site at Guabe in Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as part of its efforts to combat illegal mining.

The operation was carried out by officials of the Mining Marshal Corp, inaugurated on March 21 by the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake, to secure the mining environment and sanitise the sector.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the corps has 2,220 personnel who have been specially trained as a rapid response squad and deployed across the 36 states and the FCT.

The minister’s Special Assistant on Media, Mr Segun Tomori, said in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, that three suspects were arrested during the operation.

According to the statement, the operation, led by the Corps Commander John Attah, was successful due to meticulous intelligence gathering and surveillance.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects lacked any documentation authorising their mining activities on the site.

“Furthermore, a legitimate mining company with the necessary permits for the same location was unable to access the site due to the illegal miners’ activities and resistance,” said the statement.

It quoted the Commander as saying that the development would not be tolerated because it was displacing lawful miners and investors from performing their legitimate operations.

According to the statement, the suspects confessed to the offence and admitted to having been operating on the site for more than a year.

When they were apprehended, about 2,000 tonnes of lithium were found on-site, underscoring the magnitude of the illegal operation.

The commander said, “We met about 2,000 tonnes of lithium on the ground, the quantity of lithium mined since commencement of operation cannot be quantified as they were not being recorded due to the illegality of their mining operations.”

It said the seized minerals and equipment on site had been marked as exhibits for prosecution, and further investigations were ongoing to uncover the extent of the illegal activities. (NAN)

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