The minister of state for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari stated that the decision to suspend mining activities in Zamfara State though unfortunate had to be taken as a result of the criminal activities by armed bandits ongoing in the area which has claimed many lives.
Bwari said mining in Zamfara had stopped long before now as those doing legitimate mining there had left about 2 years ago as a result of the banditry and other criminal activities going on there which pose great threat to life.
“It’s quite unfortunate that we had to stop mining in Zamfara, a state so well endowed, a state in which we are right now doing some exploration works and where we have even discovered some minerals such as barite, nickel, manganese, etc.
“While pursuing economic activities, the human angle must be considered. It happened that lives were being lost to the criminal activities there.
“And the intelligent reports of the security agents show that there is a nexus between mining activities and the armed banditry going on there. So they asked us to suspend mining there.”
The Minister said miners in the state have already been directed to comply with the directives and close down as soon as possible, adding “but we believe it won’t last”.
He however said it is not easy to close down mining activities and the machines involved under 48 hours (as contained in the directive).
“Our message to investors or prospective investors is that this will not take a long time to be resolved as we are hopeful that the security agents will flush the criminals out of the place soon,” he noted.