The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari, yesterday, assured miners and investors that the ban on mining activities in Zamfara State would not last long.
Bwari said this while speaking on the need for government to take the action in the interest of protecting lives and property in the state, expressed optimism that very soon the government would sanitise the mining industry for legitimate miners to do their business. He said: “It’s quite unfortunate that we had to stop mining in Zamfara, a state so well endowed, a state in which we are right now doing some exploration works and where we have even discovered some minerals such as barite, nickel, manganese, and others. While pursuing economic activities, the human angle must be considered. It happened that lives were being lost to the criminal activities there.” “And the intelligent reports of the security agents show that there is a nexus between mining activities and the armed banditry going on there. So they asked us to suspend mining there. But we believe it won’t last. Our message to investors or prospective investors is that this will not take a long time to be resolved as we are hopeful that the security agents will flush the criminals out of the place soon.” Meanwhile, according to the Minister, licensed miners doing legitimate mining had about two years ago suspended mining activities and left Zamfara State due to bandits and other criminal activities that posed serious threat to their lives and investments.