The Nigerian Minerals and Mining Regulations 2011 which was presented to the public recently provides that certain fees are to be paid by miners or owners of licences as application to abandon work or cease production.
The fees which include; Exploration licence, small scale mining licence, mining lease and quarry lease are aimed at making licence owners use their licences or forfeit them to people who would.
According to the director- general, Mining Cadastral Office, Mohammed Amate: “People collect licences without having the resources or technical knowhow and so leaving the minerals and mining sites abandoned.”
He said that the fact that these licences were not being put to use had made it necessary that those who would put them to productive use would be allowed to have them.
Alhassan Usman Waziri, a miner with the ministry of mines and steel, disclosed that many miners lack both financial wherewithal and the necessary technical knowhow to run a mining site and this to a very large extent, affects their operations to the point that most times the sites are abandoned.
According to him, when miners found that users of their end products no longer need them, they are stuck with their products on the sites which invariably force them to stop production.
But to avoid payment of fees for a running site as stipulated by mining laws, he advised that the miner is expected to bring to the attention of the appropriate authority, the development on his site while ensuring that other online agencies which need such sites were contacted.
He maintained that the ministry has all mining records of title holders, and if a miner wishes to return to his site after a period of time away, there would be a record of where he stopped and where he would start from again.