Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Musa Mohammed Sada
The federal government has taken delivery of the Igoli and Wet Milling Machines (crushers) from South Africa for the Safer Mining Programme in Zamfara State.
According a statement received in Abuja last night, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Musa Mohammed Sada, made the disclosure while declaring open a three-day training programme on safety, health and environmental issues in mining for artisanal and small scale cooperatives in Gusau, the Zamfara State capital.
The training programme, the first in the series, mapped out for the Safer Mining Programme in Zamfara State, was organised by the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
Sada disclosed that more training programmes and extension services would be provided for the artisanal and small scale mining cooperatives in the state.
Represented by the Director of Planning Policy Analysis and Monitoring in the ministry, Mr. John B.G. Mshelia, the minister said the machines would be installed very soon at three mineral processing centres in Anka, Bukkuyum and Maru Local Government Areas of the state for the processing of gold ores to prevent re-occurrence of lead poisoning.
He advised artisanal and small scale miners all over the country to form cooperatives in order to benefit from various training programmes and extension services offered by the ministry for sustainable mining in the country.
Sada advised the participants to take the training programme seriously in order to benefit from it, adding that they should imbibe and practice what they were taught at the event.
The statement said safety kits for mining operations were distributed to the artisanal and small scale miners at the training programme which was flagged off by the minister.
About 50 artisanal and small scale miners cooperatives in Zamfara State, non-governmental organisations, investors, stakeholders, the media; officials of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, the Zamfara State Ministry of Environment and Solid Minerals Development attended the training programme.
The Zamfara State Commissioner for Environment and Solid Minerals Development, Mouktar Lugga, who was represented by a Director in the ministry, Kabiru Morai, thanked the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development for organising the training programme and assured them that the state would continue to support the federal government to ensure safer and sustainable mining activities in the state.
Speaking at the event, the Director of Artisanal and Small Scale Mining in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Obiora Azubike, told the participants that there registration as Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Cooperatives enables them to access some privileges the ministry gives to cooperatives.
He, however, told them to note that the certificate of registration issued to them by the ministry is not a mineral title.
He added that if they want to mine without mineral titles, they have to enter into agreements with investors who have mineral titles in the areas they intend to mine.
Azubike advised that the cooperatives should apply for and acquire mineral titles if they want to mine any mineral in the state in accordance with Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007.
The Director advised the beneficiaries of the safety kits to use them for mining and processing of minerals.
The papers presented at the training programme were on safety, health and environmental issues such as the safe ways of disposing tailings; the use of the wet milling process for Gold Ore with the use of the Igoli machines and crushers; better extraction process of gold ore; the need to engage mineral processing outside residential areas; appropriate dressing in mining and mineral processing activities; prevention of children from mineral processing areas; sustainable mining among others.
For better understanding and active participation at the training programme, the papers were delivered in Hausa language.
The Chairman of Lala Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Cooperative, one of the participants at the training programme and beneficiaries of the safety, health and environmental kits, Alhaji Lawal Garba, commended the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development for the training programme and the safety kits, adding that the knowledge they gained from the training would help them immensely towards safer, profitable and sustainable mining in Zamfara State.
The minister visited Jabaka mining site in the state as part of the training programme and distributed safety, health and environmental kits to artisanal and small scale miners.
He also appointed an Extension Service Officer in Bagega and presented a motor cycle and generator at the Bagega mining outpost.