Chinese mining company’s operations in Akwa Ibom halted by state government


The Akwa Ibom State Government has ordered a Chinese corporation, Ruitai, to halt further mining operations in the state until the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources has cleared it.
The order was issued by the state’s Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources, Uno Uno, during an unplanned inspection trip of the firm’s mining facility in Esuk Ikim Akeme village, Ibeno Local Government Area.

The commissioner was accompanied to the scene by his Ministry of Internal Security colleague. On Monday, Brig. Gen. Koko Essien (retired) spoke.
However, during a press conference on Tuesday, Uno stated that the inspection team uncovered black clay-like minerals in 50-kilogram sack sacks, which the miners classified as Titanium Ore.

He said, “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.
“At the end of the inspection tour, we were able to discover that the company is purely an exploration company. Its Board of Directors comprises only Chinese, thus, not eligible to acquire the Small-scale Mining License as claimed.
“We also discovered that the Company has not conducted the Environmental Impacts Assessment in its mining operations and has not submitted the Environmental Management Plan, among other abnormalities.”
The commissioner said in view of the above anomalies, the inspection team recommended, “That Ruitai Mining Company should terminate its mining operations forthwith until due clearance legitimising its operations is completed with the state government.
“That the Company should approach the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources on or before Friday, 1st September, 2023, with all the relevant papers authorising its operations, with full coordination of the area approved for its mining operations.”
“That all security operatives should be withdrawn from the mining site, while the DPO of Ibeno LGA, SP Victor Ezekwu, should enforce the directive in order to ensure strict compliance,” the statement added.


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