The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has uncovered and sealed an illegal gold-mining site in Kutasa community, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
This is even as the agency arrested two Nigerian staff of the company for breaking the seal placed at the site by NESREA officials.
The illegal activity, which is operated by Hongao mining company, owned by a Chinese, is located in a community with more than 2,000 inhabitants, mainly from Gbagyi and some Chawai tribe from Kaduna State.
A visit to the site yesterday, accompanied by mobile police officers and officials from NESREA, indicated that the only source of drinking water, which flows across the site is highly polluted with lead and mercury.
Findings by LEADERSHIP Sunday further revealed that Chinese men were not present at the site as at the time of enforcement, though there were four articulate vehicles, other materials and security men guarding the site.
The secretary of Kutasa youth, Ishaya Godwin demanded for N10bn compensation from the company as damages for destroying the community, adding that they petitioned the ministry of Justice about the illegal mining.
On why he failed to report the incident to AMAC chairman, Hon Candido, he said, “We voted for him during his first and second tenure and he’s yet to fulfill even one out of several campaign promises he made to the community”.
Also speaking, another member of the community, Timothy Yohanna noted that the company paid little compensation for the farmlands used as the mining site, with a promise to build a hospital, schools, police outpost, fix the chief palace and instal a mobile telecommunication network, which they failed to do.