Home Agriculture Securing mining sites cause illegal miners to flee—Alake 

Securing mining sites cause illegal miners to flee—Alake 

by Business News Report

Minister of Solid Minerals has said that government step at securing mining sites has caused illegal miners to flee from such sites. Dr Dele Alake has also commended a gold mining giant, Segilola Resources Operating Limited, SROL, over employing 95 per cent of Nigerians. Alake made the commendation during a site tour of the SROL in Ilesha, Osun State, which he lauded the extensive work that has gone into the facility as contained in a statement signed by the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister, Segun Tomori, where he (Alake) said the company’s tenacity of purpose and efficient methods deployed to push through with its vision, despite daunting challenges at inception.  He said that his focus has been to redirect local and international attention to the mining sector, which the Minister also assured that the implementation of his 7-point agenda is to reposition the mining sector for significant contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and diversification of the economy. He further expressed commitment of the Tinubu-led administration to support mining companies that place a premium on local content in their operations, therefore, expressed joy that over 95 per cent of staff in Segilola gold project are Nigerians, and urged other operators to take a cue from them.  

He said “it gladdens my heart that this is a wholly Nigerian project, and that is very commendable. Yes, you have contractors, experts, and technical professionals, which is expected in any project of this magnitude, but it is essentially a Nigerian project. That for me is very remarkable and worthy of emulation by other potential investors, local or foreign alike.”  Meanwhile, the Minister maintained he has prioritised securing the nation’s mining environment as part of his 7-Point Agenda, and it is already yielding results. “I have made sanitising the security of mining environment one of the critical points of my 7-point agenda. Recently, as part of the process of actualising that policy, I had to unveil the creation of a mines marshal. They have a base in all the States of the country, with the command structure in my office, and in fact, that has thrown some sanity into the operating environment of the mining sector. Reports reaching us indicate that illegal miners are already fleeing their sites, even before operations reach a crescendo”, he said.

The Minister also emphasised the imperative of harmonious relationship with host communities, which he lauded SROL for overshooting its community development targets, urging mining companies across the country to follow suit to ensure safer, unfettered operating environment, which will culminate in maximum beneficiation for both operators, the host communities and government. The Minister pledged Federal Government’s support for SROL, particularly because it promotes local content and positively impacts the host community with developmental projects including employment of young people from the area. Earlier, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Segilola Resources, Segun Lawson, in a remark asserted that the company is a world-class project powered by Nigerians, and appealed for support from the Federal Government to enable it scale up, and contribute effectively to the country’s GDP and economic development.

Lawson while presenting the achievements of the company to the Minister and his entourage said the company operates an open pit system involving drilling and blasting, hauling and loading the rocks before processing into gold. According to him, in 2023, it produced 84,609 ounces ( 2,398.6 kilogrammes) of gold amounting to $194.4 million at current prices. The company spent N29 billion on local procurement and has 1,993 work force, which 98 per cent are local employees. According to them, Segilola has paid $ 4.3 million compensation till date and spent N1 billion on 25 community projects, which benefited 11,112 indigenes, 135 fish and vegetable farmers, and 4,479 community members. The Minister was informed that the firm has recycled 1.27 metric tonnes of waste and its safety measures have achieved zero environmental incidents.

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