Chinese Company Closed Down For Illegal Mining in Akwa Ibom State
The Akwa Ibom Government closed down a Chinese mining firm, Ruitai Mining Company, for failing to produce an operation licence.
Chief Uno Etim Eno, the state’s Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources, said this when he briefed newsmen in Uyo.
Eno said that the firm could not provide authentic documents for titanium ore mining in Ibeno community of the state.
He stated that the company had been mining titanium ore silently before it was intercepted and ordered to produce relevant documents.
The Commissioner also said that during inspection, it was discovered that the firm could not produce a mining licence or an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report to show impact of its operations on the host community.
“The joint ministerial inspection team, which included the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Iquo Abia, on arrival at Ibeno , was conducted around the mining site by the Chairman of Ibeno Local Government Area, High Chief Williams Mkpa.
“The team discovered black clay-like minerals contained in sacks of 50kg, which was identified by the miners as titanium ore.
“On critical examination of the site amidst tight security, the Managing Director and Director of the Company, Zeng Zhonghuan and Huang Ying, were not available at the site. The available staff members could not provide any information or documents,” Uno said.
According to Uno, the Ministry of Environment found that the company was only an exploration company and that its board of directors, which was made up entirely of Chinese citizens, was not qualified to obtain the small-scale mining licence as promised.
“Ruitai mining company should terminate its mining operations forthwith, until due clearance legitimising its operation is completed with the state government,” he said.
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