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Nasarawa government declares protesting mining firm illegal

THE Nasarawa State government has reacted to allegations of unfair treatment levelled against it by an indigenous mining firm in the state – Timadix Geomin Consult Limited – describing the company as unknown.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, June 19, the government, through the Commissioner of Environment, Kwanta Yakubu, said the state government was unaware of the company’s existence.

“The so-called mining entity claiming to be licensed to carry out mining activities in Amba community is not known to the Nasarawa State Government according to the provisions of the Executive Order No. 02 of 2022 and the mining site remains closed and secured until responsible investors who are trusted by the community and the state, through a proper consenting, are licensed to mine in the area.

“The Nasarawa State Government will continue to watch closely any further development in that mining site, as well as any other place with similar occurrence that is against the interest of peace in the state and deal decisively with any violator,” Yakubu noted.

He also said the Executive Order by the governor led to the closure of several mining  sites, including the one at Amba in April, as the community chief petitioned the ministry over illegal activities being carried out on the sites.

“While the government of Nasarawa State remains committed to promoting investment opportunities and the growth of businesses for economic development and poverty reduction, government would not compromise its determination to rid the state of illegal mining activities that put the life of our people and the safety of communities in danger.

“We are committed to the full enforcement of the Executive Order to ensure that our state is safe and communities are protected from exploitation by mining entities,” the commissioner said.

This is contrary to the claims by the company’s managing director, Tim Eldon, who on Friday, June 14 said its firm possessed a valid mining license.

Eldon noted that the firm’s mining operations were shut down by the government and a Chinese company took over operations on the site without prior information.

He called for the suspension of mining activities by the Chinese company and expressed concern that indigenous institutions were treated unfairly in favour of foreign firms.




     

     

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    Efforts by The ICIR to get the company’s details or Eldon’s contact for clarification on the legality of its operations in the state proved abortive.

    This organisation could not trace the company’s website, and attempts to locate it on social media proved abortive.

    The ICIR, however, reports that the company was registered to operate in Nasarawa state, where it has its address in the state capital, Lafia.

    The firm is a private company limited by shares, and has the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) registration number RC-1425447.

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    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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