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FG confirms death of three miners in fresh mine collapse in Niger state

The federal government has confirmed the death of three miners in Niger state in a new mine collapse. This is the second mine collapse in the month of June after similar incident earlier in the month.

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, disclosed this in a statement through his Special Assistant on Media, Segun Tomori, on Saturday in Abuja.

The collapse occurred on Thursday in Bazakwoi, a village in the Adunu community, Paikoro Local Government Area of Niger, where local miners were allegedly mining for gold illegally.

According to the statement, owners of licensed land units mined illegally will lose their titles.

The minister noted that preliminary investigations indicated that the collapsed mine was in an area under Exploration Licence 43113, granted to JURASSIC MINES Limited in Adunu Village, Paikoro Local Government Area, Niger State.

The statement clarified that an exploration license permits an applicant to confirm the site’s suitability for proposed mineral exploration but does not authorize mining activities.

Addressing the ministry’s response, Alake confirmed receiving news of the accident around 4:45 pm on Thursday, where three people died in a gold mining tunnel collapse at the site. He further stated that inquiries revealed the miners were operating illegally.

The statement reads, “The ministry promptly mobilised its mine officers, who arrived at the site around 6:15 pm. Officials were informed that three men were killed in the accident and have since been buried.”

“At the time of the visit, work had stopped at the site, and only onlookers were seen. The coordinates of the site were taken, and officials returned to Minna at about 8.30 pm. The owners of the company were contacted by phone, but they claimed ignorance of happenings in the site. They were then summoned to the office in the state capital,”

The minister stated that he would communicate further developments as they unfold.

What you should know

The recent collapse of this mine follows similar incident earlier this month in the same Niger state which killed one and left about 30 trapped. The accident at the underground gold mine occurred on June 4, following heavy rains that softened the soil around the pit, causing it to collapse.

  • The recent collapse of mines raises concerns about the safety of the mines and welfare of workers in these mines. After the last mine collapse, the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake had proposed mandatory life insurance for miners to guarantee their safety and benefits after such tragic incidents.
  • The Solid Mineral sector in Nigeria is still at its infancy and without a formal structure. In the first quarter of 2024, the mining and quarrying sector contributed around 86% to overall GDP. This figure is higher than that of Q4 and Q1 2023.

Aghogho Udi

Aghogho Udi

My name is Aghogho Udi, a writer, journalist, and researcher, deeply intrigued by the political economy of Nigeria and the broader African context. My focus lies in shedding light on the intricate connections between macroeconomics and politics, offering valuable insights that foster comprehension of Africa’s prevailing economic landscape and the world in general.

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