Home » Lithium Mining Dispute: Nasarawa Assembly Intervenes 

Lithium Mining Dispute: Nasarawa Assembly Intervenes 

The dispute involves three companies and a community in Nasarawa State, where high-grade lithium deposits have been discovered.

by Motoni Olodun

A dispute over a mining site in Nasarawa State, Nigeria, has drawn the attention of the state’s House of Assembly, which has vowed to investigate the matter and ensure justice for the affected parties. The site, located in Endo community, Udege, is rich in lithium, a highly sought-after mineral used for making rechargeable batteries and electric vehicles.

According to a report by Leadership newspaper, three companies are claiming ownership of the mining site, namely Zurfi Mining, Harrick Global Investment Nigeria Limited and Feiya Mining Company. They all allege to have obtained mining consent from the community leaders, but the village head of Endo has denied issuing such consent to any of them except Feiya Mining.

The House of Assembly’s committee on environment, led by the majority leader, Mr Mohammed Adamu Omadefu, visited the site and the community to verify the facts. Mr Omadefu expressed concern over the indiscriminate issuance of mining approvals by community leaders and urged them to desist from such practice. He also said that two of the companies, Zurfi Mining and Harrick Global Investment, were working on the disputed site without the consent of the Endo community.

Lithium is a strategic mineral that has been attracting foreign investors to Nigeria, especially in Nasarawa State, where large deposits have been discovered. The Nigerian Geological Survey Agency has reported that the lithium found in the state is of high grade, ranging from 1 to 13 per cent oxide content, which is above the global standard of 0.4 per cent. The agency has also said that lithium is of hard rock type, which is preferred by investors worldwide.

The Nigerian government has identified lithium as one of the key minerals to drive the diversification of the economy and create jobs for the youth. The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, has said that the government is working on developing a lithium value chain that will enable the country to produce lithium-ion batteries locally and export them to the international market.

However, the exploitation of lithium and other minerals in Nigeria has also raised environmental and social concerns, such as land degradation, pollution, displacement, conflict and human rights violations. The civil society and the host communities have called for more transparency, accountability and regulation in the mining sector, as well as the protection of the rights and interests of the local people.

The Nasarawa State House of Assembly has assured the public that it will look into the lithium mining dispute and ensure that the rule of law is upheld and the best interest of the state and the nation is served.

Source: Leadership NG


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