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THE FIGHT AGAINST ARTISAN MINERS

Legitimate Miners face various challenges ranging from environmental, management, personnel, community, government to even security challenges. The paper is concerned about the security challenges. One of such challenge one should be ready to face and seen in most mining areas are the activities of artisan miners also called illegal miners. 

 The more the value of a particular natural deposit, the more tendencies to experience the presence of these illegal miners. From research done by the writer of this article, it is discovered that most of these illegal miners are usually locals from the community where these natural resources are found. The reasons for their engagement in illegal mining could be attributed to some factors. 

 One of their reasons is the feeling that this resources is found on our land so let's claim ownership. Another reason is caused when the mining company in the location employs more of foreigners. Also when some a grieved persons who feel they are not getting what they are supposed to get or the company is not meeting up to its obligations, they could result to this illegal mining. 

 How do one handle then the activities of these illegal miners? One of the ways for this to be handled is my employing some quota from the host community and by so doing they will have sense of belonging in protecting the company's interest.

The companies in mining areas should invest in social programs and community development services like building of schools, clinics and investing in skills acquisition for the youths. 

 They should ensure that they follow mining rules, policies and procedures to ensure that the environment is safe after their activities. Sometimes, mining activities affects the water, land and air negatively which may lead to agitation. 

 Constant meetings and diplomatic talks with the elders and leaders of the host communities will also help curb illegal mining activities. This is because it is almost difficult if not impossible for illegal miners to carryout their activities without the notice of anyone or the community leaders. 

 Government policies have to be friendly as well to the legal miners so individual or group of individuals can come together to mine at little cost. This is because sometimes when people consider the cost of legal mining (taxes, wage pay, levies etc), they would prefer to go the illegal way. 

 Government should also play all their role in ensuring that everyone gets a fair play from acquiring exploration license, to compensation to building of necessary infrastructure within such areas and showing of genuine interest to see that such company grow. 

 With the few points listed above, illegal mining activities can be curbed and controlled. 

 Michael Okafor, 

+234(0)7032940777 (Call or WhatsApp)

 

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The author is a serial entrepreneur, a trainer, a promoter of Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria and a Human Resource Practioner.

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