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30 arrested for illegal mining in Niger



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No fewer than 30 persons have been reportedly arrested for illegal mining in Niger State, Garba Sabo, Commissioner for Mineral Resources, said yesterday.

Sabo also disclosed that the ministry has profiled 229 mining companies for assessment to determine which would be approved or disapproved.

The Commissioner, who spoke with journalists yesterday, said the arrests were made during a recent visit to some illegal mining sites. He lamented that more people could not be arrested because the miners ran upon seeing officers.

Sabo, who reiterated that the ban on illegal mining stands, said: “It is unfair to call us incompetent when you have not seen the work we have done. We go into these mining sites and, sometimes, despite being with security men, we are usually attacked. We are doing our best to stop this menace and to protect the sites.”

Sabo revealed that the ministry is trying to introduce biometrics to get complete details of all miners in the state to prevent the monopoly of the business by a few companies.



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