In a press conference held in Abuja on Tuesday, Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, announced the revocation of operating licenses for 1,633 mining title holders by the federal government. This decisive action was taken due to their failure to remit annual service fees to the government’s coffers.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
Alake emphasized the necessity of this move to cleanse the sector and create room for new investors who are committed to meeting expectations.
According to Alake, exploration title holders are required to pay N1,500 per cadastral unit (not exceeding 200 units), while those with titles covering more than 200 units must pay N2,000 per unit. Expressing concern over companies’ reluctance to fulfill their financial obligations promptly, he criticized their failure to pay the annual service fee, deeming it “unconscionable” for profitable mining corporations.
Highlighting the enforcement of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act 2007, the Mining Cadastre Office initiated the process of revoking 2,213 titles on October 4, 2023. These titles included 795 exploration titles, 956 small-scale mining licenses, 364 quarry licenses, and 98 mining leases, as published in the Federal Government Gazette Number 178, Volume 110 of October 10, 2023.
The minister underscored the expiration of the mandatory 30-day notice on November 10, 2023, with only 580 titleholders settling their debts. Consequently, Alake, in accordance with the NMMA 2007, Section 5(a), approved the revocation of 1,633 mineral titles, encompassing exploration licenses, quarry licenses, small-scale mining licenses, and mining leases.
Issuing a stern warning, Alake urged previous titleholders to vacate the relevant cadaster immediately, cautioning that security agencies would collaborate with the Ministry’s mines inspectorate to apprehend any defaulter found on the revoked areas.
Further expounding on the philosophy of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act 2007, Alake stressed its aim to establish a transparent and comprehensive system for administering titles, ensuring a seamless transition from reconnaissance to exploration and mineral extraction.
He concluded by cautioning illegal miners to adhere to the Act or face legal consequences, asserting that revoked sites may not be reinstated to former holders, jeopardizing their chances of owning mining sites in the country.