The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olalekan Adegbite, said on Friday the ministry was working with the country’s judiciary to prosecute foreign illegal miners caught recently in Zamfara and Osun states.
Adegbite stated this at a news conference on Friday in Abuja, adding that such action would serve as deterrent to others.
He said it was unfortunate that the illegal miners hid under local artisanal miners in the country to perpetrate their act.
Adegbite said despite the ban on illegal mining activities in Zamfara since February 2019, some illegal mining activities are still taking place in the state, particularly by foreigners.
According to him, the foreign nationals that had been identified were Chinese, Burkinabe and Senegalese, among others.
The minister said the Chinese nationals, in particular, lured artisanal miners with money to work for them.
He said: “We are going to go diplomatic by interacting with the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, so that it does not seem like we are unfairly targeting their people.
“We will present the facts to them so that they can also make sure they keep these people in check.”
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