This was according to a statement by the ministry's Head, Press & PR, Alaba Balogun, on Friday.
The Minister, Dr Oladele Alake, issued the warninng when a delegation of the Nigeria-China Chamber of Mines led by its National President, Dr.Olugbenga Ajala paid him a courtesy visit in his office at the Ministry's headquarters in Abuja.
He was quoted as saying, “The government will come down firmly on these unscrupulous foreign operators sponsoring banditry to perpetrate illegal mining: let me use this medium to appeal through you to tell those sponsors to desist or face the full wrath of the law.”
Alake said that the Ministry is committed to establishing a multi-agency task force that will end the activities of illegal miners and their collaborators.
He re-iterated that the government has given illegal miners 30-days grace to become legitimate to continue in their trade.
According to him, this will help “to streamline and structure the Small-Scale Artisanal Miners for maximum yield to the Federal Government.”
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
Contact: [email protected]