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Chinese Mining Firm Shut Down by Akwa Ibom Government for Operating Without License

August 30, 2023

The Akwa Ibom state government has taken decisive action by shutting down operations of the Chinese mining company, Ruitai Mining Company, due to its failure to present a valid operational license. Uno Etim Eno, the Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources, revealed this development to reporters in Uyo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo Credit: Esty

According to Mr. Eno, the mining firm was unable to furnish authorization documents permitting its activities in titanium ore mining within the Ibeno region. The Chinese company had been conducting secretive mining operations in the area, but was intercepted and instructed to produce the necessary documentation.

During an inspection, it was uncovered that the company lacked both a mining license and an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report, which is required to demonstrate the effects of its operations on the local community. Mr. Eno explained, “The joint ministerial inspection team, led by the permanent secretary, Mrs. Iquo Abia, upon arriving at the Ibeno community, toured the mining site guided by High Chief Williams Mkpa, the chairman of Ibeno Local Government Area. The team stumbled upon black clay-like minerals stored in 50kg sacks, later identified as titanium ore by the miners.”

Mr. Eno further stated, “Upon careful scrutiny of the site with heightened security, it was noted that the managing director and director of the company, Zeng Zhonghuan and Huang Ying, were conspicuously absent. The available staff members could not provide any information or documents.”

The investigation conducted by the Ministry of Environment revealed that the company was categorized as an exploration company, and its board of directors consisted entirely of Chinese nationals, rendering them ineligible to obtain a small-scale mining license as they had claimed.

In response, Mr. Uno emphatically stated, “Ruitai Mining Company must cease all mining operations immediately until the requisite approvals from the state government have been obtained to legitimize their activities.” This move underlines the state’s commitment to enforcing proper regulations and ensuring responsible mining practices.

NAN

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