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Nigeria Cracks Down on Illegal Mining of Critical Minerals

illegal mining of critical minerals in Nigeria

by Motoni Olodun

Abuja, Nigeria – Nigerian authorities have intensified efforts to combat illegal mining activities, particularly focusing on the extraction of critical minerals such as lithium and tin. In recent operations, several arrests have been made, highlighting the government’s commitment to regulating the mining sector and curbing illicit activities.

The crackdown comes amid growing concerns over the environmental and economic impacts of illegal mining. These unauthorized operations not only degrade the environment but also deprive the country of valuable revenue and undermine legitimate mining enterprises.

“We are taking decisive action against illegal mining,” said Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite. “These activities are not only illegal but also detrimental to our economy and environment. We must ensure that our mineral resources are exploited responsibly and sustainably.”

Nigeria is rich in critical minerals, which are essential for various high-tech industries, including electronics and renewable energy. The global demand for minerals like lithium has surged, driven by the proliferation of electric vehicles and renewable energy technologies. This has made Nigeria a target for illegal mining operations seeking to capitalize on the lucrative market.

In recent raids, law enforcement agencies have apprehended several individuals involved in the illicit extraction and trade of lithium and tin. The government has pledged to prosecute those responsible to the full extent of the law, sending a strong message that illegal mining will not be tolerated.

“These arrests are just the beginning,” said a spokesperson for the Ministry of Mines. “We will continue to pursue and dismantle illegal mining networks. Our goal is to create a transparent and regulated mining industry that benefits all Nigerians.”

Environmental activists have welcomed the government’s actions but stress the need for sustained efforts to protect Nigeria’s natural resources. “Illegal mining causes severe environmental degradation, including deforestation, soil erosion, and water pollution,” said environmentalist Bola Akinwale. “We must continue to hold those responsible accountable and promote sustainable mining practices.”

The Nigerian government is also working to improve the regulatory framework for the mining sector, making it more attractive for legitimate investors. By streamlining licensing processes and enhancing oversight, officials hope to foster a more stable and profitable mining industry.

“Reforming the mining sector is essential for economic growth,” Adegbite noted. “With proper regulation and investment, Nigeria can harness its mineral wealth to drive development and create jobs.”

As Nigeria cracks down on illegal mining, there is optimism that these efforts will lead to a more sustainable and prosperous future. Ensuring that mineral resources are managed responsibly is crucial for the country’s long-term economic and environmental well-being

Source: Ap News

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