FG Removes 1,633 Mining Operators Licences In Hopes To Sanitise Sector

FG Regulates Mercury Use In Gold Mining
FG Regulates Mercury Use In Gold Mining

1,633 mineral titles that had been granted to mining corporations that did not conform have been withdrawn by the Federal Government via the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development.

In order to make the solid minerals industry more competitive internationally, the minister also pledged to clean it up and asked all parties involved to start acting morally again. Dele Alake, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, made this announcement on Tuesday in Abuja during a news conference.

According to him, these mineral title holders’ licenses were canceled because they neglected to pay the N1,500 yearly service costs that are required for each cadastral unit.

Alake said the revocation, based on earlier warnings to 2,213 mining companies, complies with Sections 10, 11, and 12 of the Mining Act and frees up spaces for potential investors who are willing to invest.

He lamented that the mining firms who have held the licenses for years, making huge profits from mining sites, still failed to make necessary payments accrued to the government.

He said, “It is indeed very unconscionable for corporate bodies making huge profits from mining to refuse to give the government its due by failing to pay their annual service fee. It is indeed a reasonable conjecture that such a company will be willing to pay royalties and honour its tax obligations to the government. The amount the companies are being asked to pay is peanuts compared to their revenue projections.

“In compliance with the law, the Mining Cadastral Office on October 4, 2023, began the process of revoking 2,213 titles. These included 795 Exploration titles, 956 Small Scale Mining Licences, 364 Quarry licenses, and 98 Mining Leases.

These were published in the Federal Government Gazette Number 178, Volume 110 of October 10, 2023, with the notice of revocation for defaulting in the payment of the Annual Service Fee.

“The Mining Cadastre Office has recommended the revocation of 1,633 mineral titles as follows: Exploration Licence, 536; Quarry Licence, 279; Small Scale Mining Licence, 787 and Mining Lease, 31. In line with the powers conferred on me by the NMMA 2007, Section 5 (a), I have approved the revocation of the 1,633 titles.”

He further warned that those whose licenses had been revoked should vacate mining sites to avoid being apprehended by security agencies.

Explaining the revocation process, Alake stated that the ministry gave a thirty-day written default notice to the defaulting parties to pay up the fees but only 580 titleholders responded to the notice and paid their annual fees.

“Any notice required to be sent by the Mining Cadastre Office to an applicant for, or holder of a mineral title shall be sent by courier service or registered mail to the last known address in Nigeria of the mineral titleholder or given in person to an authorised representative of the applicant or holder of the mineral title in Nigeria or published in the Gazette. The notice shall for all purposes be sufficient notice of the subject matter of the notice to the applicant for or holder of a mineral title.”

“The mandatory 30 days expired on November 10, 2023. Only 580 titleholders responded by settling their indebtedness. With this development, the MCO recommended the revocation of 1, 633 mineral titles as follows: Exploration Licence, 536; Quarry Licence, 279; Small Scale Mining Licence, 787 and Mining Lease, 31. A mineral title shall become liable to revocation where the holder thereof has failed to pay the prescribed fees.

Leave a Reply