Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Kayode Fayemi

By Ige Olugbenga with agency report

The federal government has sanctioned no fewer than 313 mining companies over non-fulfilment of their environmental obligations.

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Salim Salaam, the Director, Mines Environmental Compliance Department, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development made this known on Tuesday in Abuja.

Salam said that the mining operators were issued sanction letters on March 20 for failing to conduct Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation Programme (EPRP) and the Community Development Agreement (CDA).

He said that four of the mining companies affected were given `stop work’ orders, adding that the ministry had warned them several times but they refused to comply with the environmental obligations.

He said that five companies’ licenses were outrightly revoked over total failure to comply with the ministry’s environmental obligations in spite of incessant notices issued by the ministry.

“One out of the five companies is a foreign mining company located in Bauchi, three in Cross River and One in Oyo state all their licenses have been revoked completely,’’ he said.

He said, however, 20 mining companies were issued only warning letters and give another chance to comply with the mining act.

He said that the ministry had decided not to renew licences of the remaining 284 mining companies except the Minister, Dr Kayode Fayemi, gives them another chance to fulfil all environmental requirements.

He said that some of the defaulters did not conduct Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before commencing operations, adding that this could be dangerous to the host communities’ health and cause environmental degradations.

He also explained that some conducted EIA but refused to fulfil the CDA of the host communities and the EPRP.