Fear Grips Plateau Community As Gunmen Kill Four In Mining Site

 

 

Palpable fear gripped residents of Dong village, Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State after gunmen attacked a mining site, killing four persons.

The gunmen stormed the mining site on Saturday and shot the workers dead, a situation that forced the State Police Command to deploy more personnel to the troubled community.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Police Public Relations Officer, Gabriel Ubah, said the deployment is to forestall the breakdown of law and order.

The police spokesman stated that the command has begun investigations with a view to arresting the perpetrators of the crime.

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“Yes, the command is aware of the incident at Dong,” he said when asked if the police authorities are aware of the attack.

“The police immediately raced to the scene. Unfortunately, four persons who went to a mining site were killed by yet to be identified gunmen. Security has been beefed up in the area.

“Meanwhile, an investigation is ongoing to unravel the circumstances surrounding their death and to arrest the perpetrators of the dastardly act.”

Meanwhile, the member representing Jos South/Bassa federal constituency in the National Assembly, Dachung Musa Bagos, has condemned the incident, describing it as inhumane.

The lawmaker in a statement issued on Sunday by his spokesman, Danja Dafwam Yaks, said the incident has raised concerns over the readiness of security agencies in tackling the guerilla-style of attacks which has been ongoing for two decades.

“I am angry and enraged by the daily killings within and around my constituency. I want to state emphatically that I will continue to talk about these callous attitudes of known criminals amongst us until they are all gotten rid of finally,” he said.

He equally asked the federal and state governments to charge security agencies to tackle more seriously as a matter of urgency the insecurity around the state and country at large.

12 Dead After Mining Pollution In DR Congo River

DR Congo flag.

 

Twelve people have died and thousands have fallen ill after a river in southern DR Congo was polluted by toxic waste from a diamond mine, the government said.

Pollution of the Kasai River came to light in July, when local residents said its waters had turned red and dead fish were seen floating at the city of Tshikapa, near the Angolan-owned mine.

In addition to 12 fatalities, whose cause of death is unknown, 4,502 cases of diarrhoea and skin-related illness have been recorded, Environment Minister Eve Bazaiba said late Thursday.

“This catastrophe was caused by an Angolan mining company, which has acknowledged the facts,” she said, reporting on the findings of an expert bilateral commission of inquiry.

In July, Bazaiba linked the pollution to a “spill of toxic substances by an Angolan factory specialising in industrial diamond mining”.

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Local officials also saw dead hippos in the Kasai, a major tributary to the Congo, the second longest African river after the Nile.

Four out of the five administrative territories in Kasai province have been affected by the disaster, totalling 968,000 people, the probe found.

The provincial authorities banned consumption of the river water, but it was too late to avoid some people falling sick.

The government said 40 tonnes (88,000 pounds) of medication to the area and the national water company is taking steps to increase supplies to those affected.

“Compensation should be paid to those who are victims, on the basis of the polluter-pays principle,” the government said.

AFP

Mining: Governor Ishaku Calls For Constitution Review

A file photo of Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV
A file photo of Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV

 

Taraba state Governor Darius Ishaku has called for constitutional review as it concerns mining rights.

Mining is currently mostly under the Federal Government’s control under the law, but the Governor believes the exclusivity is worrisome and should be reviewed to promote development of the sector.

According to him, Governors across the country have proffered solutions to the Federal government in order to have a win-win situation, but the Federal Government has paid deaf ears to their suggestions.

The Governor made the comment while inaugurating the Governing Council of the Taraba State College of Agriculture at the Government House in Jalingo on Saturday.

“The mineral that is below the ground belongs to the Federal Government, but I have the right on the surface of the ground,” he said. “So how do you go under the ground without calling on the landowner to access it?

“That is the crux of the matter. And it hasn’t been resolved. The exclusivity of mining to the Federal Government is one of those things that people who are calling for the review of the constitution, among the several.

“So we find ourselves in this tight corner. Some of us have proffered so many solutions, as to how we can go about this to achieving a win-win solution for both the federal and state governments.”

16 Dead From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Chinese Coal Mine

(FILES) This file photo taken on November 20, 2015 shows Chinese flags next to a worker clearing a conveyer belt used to transport coal, near a coal mine at Datong, in China's northern Shanxi province.
(FILES) This file photo taken on November 20, 2015 shows Chinese flags next to a worker clearing a conveyer belt used to transport coal, near a coal mine at Datong, in China’s northern Shanxi province.

 

Sixteen workers died and one is in a critical condition after being trapped underground in a coal mine in southwest China on Sunday, reported state broadcaster CCTV.

A conveyor belt caught fire in the early hours of the morning, state news agency Xinhua cited the government as saying, which produced dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

Medics are fighting to save the life of the remaining survivor, CCTV reported.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation, said the Qijiang district government on social media platform Weibo.

The facility, Songzao Coal Mine, is owned by state energy firm Chongqing Energy and located just outside the city of Chongqing.

Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and regulations are often weakly enforced.

At least 14 miners were killed in a coal and gas blast last December at a mine in southwestern Guizhou province.

In December 2018, seven miners were killed in Chongqing after the connecting segment of a skip broke and fell down a shaft.

In October the same year, 21 miners died in eastern Shandong province after pressure inside a mine caused rocks to fracture and break, blocking the tunnel and trapping the workers. Only one miner was rescued alive.

Miner Becomes Millionaire After Uncovering ‘Biggest’ Precious Stones In Tanzania

Tanzanian small-scale miner Saniniu Kuryan Laizer, 52, poses with the enlarged cheque copy from the government after selling two of the biggest of the country's precious gemstones, Tanzanite, during the ceremony for his historical discovery in Manyara, northern Tanzania, on June 24, 2020. Filbert RWEYEMAMU / AFP
Tanzanian small-scale miner Saniniu Kuryan Laizer, 52, poses with the enlarged cheque copy from the government after selling two of the biggest of the country’s precious gemstones, Tanzanite, during the ceremony for his historical discovery in Manyara, northern Tanzania, on June 24, 2020. Filbert RWEYEMAMU / AFP

 

A Tanzanian small-scale miner has become a multi-millionaire after uncovering two of the biggest of the country’s precious tanzanite stones ever found and selling them to the government.

Saniniu Kuryan Laizer, 52, found the stones weighing 9.27 and 5.1 kilogrammes (20.4 and 11.2 pounds) respectively in the northern Mirerani hills, an area which President John Magufuli had fenced off in 2018 to stop smuggling of the gem.

He sold them to the government for 7.7 billion Tanzanian shillings (nearly $3.3 million/2.9 million euros)

Tanzanite was first found in the foothills of Kilimanjaro in 1967, and the northern Tanzanian region of Manyara is the only known place where the stones, coveted by jewellers by their remarkable violet-blue sparkle, are found.

At a function celebrating the find in Manyara on Wednesday, mining minister Dotto Biteko said the stones were the biggest ever uncovered in the country.

Tanzanian small-scale miner Saniniu Kuryan Laizer, 52, poses with two of the biggest of the country's precious gemstones, Tanzanite, as a millionaire during the ceremony for his historical discovery in Manyara, northern Tanzania, on June 24, 2020. Filbert RWEYEMAMU / AFP
Tanzanian small-scale miner Saniniu Kuryan Laizer, 52, poses with two of the biggest of the country’s precious gemstones, Tanzanite, as a millionaire during the ceremony for his historical discovery in Manyara, northern Tanzania, on June 24, 2020. Filbert RWEYEMAMU / AFP

 

“Laizer is our (shilling) billionaire and let us make sure that he is safe,” he said.

“We are now moving from a situation where the small miners were smuggling tanzanite, and now they are following the procedures and paying government taxes and royalties.”

Laizer said he hoped to use the money to develop his community.

“I plan to build a mall in Arusha and a school near my home,” said Laizer.

“I thank God for this achievement because it’s the first time to get this size. When I found these, I notified government officials who valuated the stones and today they called me for payment.”

The government wrote on Twitter that the stones would be placed in the national museum.

Magufuli made a call to Laizer during the ceremony that was broadcast on loudspeakers, to congratulate him.

“This is the benefit to small miners and testifies to the fact that Tanzania is rich,” he said.

When the 24km (14-mile) perimeter wall was unveiled around the mining site, Magufuli said that 40 percent of all tanzanite produced at the site was being lost to smugglers.

Magufuli has taken multiple steps to regulate the mining sector, which has faced allegations of fraud and underreporting of production and profits.

Tanzania in 2017 introduced new regulations obliging foreign companies to give 16 percent free shares to the government

37 Killed In Burkina Faso’s Deadliest Attack In Five Years

FILES) In this file photo taken on March 02, 2019 Burkinabe soldiers take part in a ceremony in Ouagadougou. Burkina Faso’s security forces are overwhelmed by the flare-up of attacks carried out almost every day by jihadist groups. ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP

 

An ambush on a convoy transporting employees of a Canadian mining company in Burkina Faso killed 37 people on Wednesday, the deadliest attack in nearly five years of jihadist violence in the West African country.

The impoverished and politically fragile Sahel country has been struggling to quell a rising jihadist revolt that has claimed hundreds of lives since early 2015.

On Wednesday morning “unidentified armed individuals” ambushed five buses carrying local employees, contractors and suppliers of the Samafo mining company, said Saidou Sanou, the governor of the country’s Est Region.

As well as the 37 civilians killed, 60 were wounded, he said.

Mine owner Semafo Inc. said the five buses escorted by the military were approximately 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the Boungou gold mine in the Tapoa province when they were ambushed.

A security source said “a military vehicle that was escorting the convoy hit an explosive device”.

“Two buses carrying workers were then fired upon,” the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Burkina Faso’s government said the gunmen had conducted a “complex attack”, adding that defence and security forces had launched a relief operation and were searching the area.

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It was the third deadly attack on Canadian firm Semafo, which operates two mines in Burkina Faso, in 15 months.

“We are actively working with all levels of authorities to ensure the ongoing safety and security of our employees, contractors and suppliers,” Semafo said in a statement, offering condolences to the families of the victims.

The mine itself, it added, remains secure and its operations had not been affected.

Two separate attacks on convoys carrying Boungou mine employees in August and December last year killed 11 people.

The company blamed “armed bandits” for last year’s attacks, and subsequently reinforced its armed escorts.

The Burkina Faso government this year asked mining companies to make their own arrangements to transport their employees, according to sources close to the miners.

Nearly 700 dead in five years

Burkina Faso’s northern provinces have been battling a nearly five-year wave of jihadist violence that came from neighbouring Mali.

The attacks — typically hit-and-run raids on villages, road mines and suicide bombings — have claimed nearly 700 lives across the country since early 2015, according to an AFP toll.

Almost 500,000 people have also been forced to flee their homes.

The attacks have been claimed by a range of jihadist groups, including al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

The country’s badly equipped, poorly trained and underfunded security forces have been unable to stem the violence, which has intensified throughout 2019 to become almost daily.

The Sahel region, including Burkina Faso’s neighbours Mali and Niger, has been afflicted by the violence despite the presence of the regional G5 Sahel force as well as French and US troops.

Burkina Faso’s previous deadliest attack was in January 2016, when jihadists raided the Splendid Hotel and a cafe in the capital Ouagadougou, killing 30 people, around half of them foreign nationals.

In August this year, the army suffered its worst attack with 24 soldiers killed in an assault on a base in Koutougou, near the Mali border.

On Monday, an attack on a base in northern Burkina Faso killed at least five gendarmes and five civilians.

DR Congo Gold Mine Collapse Toll Rises To 21

 

At least 21 people have died after an illegal gold mine collapsed in Maniema in eastern DR Congo, the provincial governor said Thursday, a day after the accident.

“There have already been 21 deaths,” Augustin Musafiri, the governor of Maniema, said without giving details.

On Wednesday, Steve Mbikayi, the minister of national solidarity and humanitarian action, tweeted that 14 people had died and three had been hospitalised with serious injuries.

READ ALSO: Fourteen Dead After Illegal Mine Collapses In DR Congo

A civil society activist Justin Kyanga Asumani on Thursday said there were 25 deaths “because 10 new bodies have been recovered, including nine men and one woman.” He had given a toll of 15 on Wednesday.

The collapse took place in the mining region of Kampene, about 180 kilometres (about 110 miles) south of the provincial capital Kindu.

Deadly accidents are frequent in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s informal mining sector, where safety is poor.

Subsistent miners rush to an area where valuable minerals are discovered, often digging deep shafts that then collapse.

In May, a public body focussing on subsistence (also called artisanal) mines had asked the mining ministry to shut down the Kampene site on the grounds it had become “too dangerous.”

At Least 52 Killed In Chad Gold Mine Collapse This Week

Chad

 

 

At least 52 people died when an illegal gold mine collapsed in northern Chad this week, a government source said on Friday, with authorities still searching for more bodies.

Chad officials initially said as many as 30 people may have died when the mine caved in on Tuesday in Kouri Bougoudi, in Tibesti province, near the Libyan border, an area rife with illicit mining and smugglers.

Another source who was part of a mission to visit the area also confirmed the new death toll.

“There are 37 injured, including 21 seriously,” the second source said.

Tibesti is largely lawless and home to numerous gangs and traffickers seeking to profit from a gold rush in the area.

Clashes in January between Arab miners from Libya and miners from Chad’s Ouaddai community left “dozens” dead, according to security and mining sources.

Kouri Bougoudi has been the centre of clashes among ethnic, local and foreign groups since 2012 and 2013 after the discovery of gold deposits there.

The Chadian government has authorised mining companies to exploit the deposits but rights groups accuse authorities of using Arab fighters to force a takeover of the area.

Chad, a huge impoverished country in the heart of the Sahel, has been chronically unstable since it gained independence from France in 1960.

In March, the Chadian government decided to set up a joint security force in Tibesti and closed the border with southern Libya — a major source of trafficking and a haven for Chadian rebels.

That move was followed in August by a decree by President Idriss Deby declaring a state of emergency in Tibesti and two other provinces.

Death Toll In China Mining Accident Rises To 21

 

The death toll in a coal mine roof collapse in northern China has risen to 21 after rescuers found two more miners dead on Sunday, state media reported.

A total of 87 people were working underground in the Shaanxi province mine at the time of the accident on Saturday afternoon, according to official news agency Xinhua, citing local authorities.

Rescuers had been searching for two remaining trapped miners but found them dead Sunday morning, Xinhua reported. Another 66 miners were safely evacuated from the mine.

The cause of the accident at the site, run by privately owned Baiji Mining, is still under investigation.

Private coal mines in China typically take fewer safety precautions than larger state-owned mines.

Information about the accident cannot be disclosed, a driver at the company said who answered Baiji’s registered phone number.

The mine is a small scale operation, he said, declining to give his name.

Deadly mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record despite efforts to improve coal production conditions and crack down on illegal mines.

In December last year, seven miners were killed and three others injured in an accident at a coal mine in China’s southwest.

In October, 21 miners died in eastern Shandong province after pressure inside a mine caused rocks to fracture and break, blocking the tunnel and trapping workers. Only one miner was rescued alive.

According to China’s National Coal Mine Safety Administration, the country saw 375 coal mining related deaths in 2017, down 28.7 percent year-on-year.

But despite improvements, “the situation of coal mine safety production is still grim,” the bureau said in a statement following a coal mine safety conference last January.

AFP

13 Killed In Czech Mine Accident

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Thirteen miners died and up to 10 were injured after methane combustion at a mine in the east of the Czech Republic, a spokesman said Friday.

“In total we have 13 dead miners, 11 Polish and two Czech,” Ivo Celechovsky, spokesman for the OKD mining company, told AFP.

The accident occurred at the CSM mine in the city of Karvina, about 300 kilometres (200 miles) east of Prague, on Thursday afternoon.

AFP

19 Killed In China’s Mining Accident

 

Nineteen miners have been confirmed dead in east China following a mining accident earlier this month that trapped 22 people, state media reported Monday.

The tunnel where the miners were working was blocked at both ends by coal after pressure caused rocks to fracture and break on October 20, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Only one miner has been rescued so far.

Rescuers working to clear the tunnel recovered six bodies Sunday. Two miners remained unaccounted for as of Monday morning.

The accident took place at a mine owned by Longyun Coal Mining Co. Ltd. in Yuncheng County in Shandong province.

Deadly mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record, despite efforts to improve coal production conditions and crack down on illegal mines.

In December 2016, explosions in two separate coal mines in the Inner Mongolia region and in northeastern Heilongjiang province killed at least 59 people.

Earlier that year, 33 miners were killed in a colliery explosion in October in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing, and in September, at least 18 were killed in a mine blast in the northwestern Ningxia region.

According to China’s National Coal Mine Safety Administration, the country saw 375 coal mining related deaths in 2017, down 28.7 percent year-on-year.

However, despite improvements, “the situation of coal mine safety production is still grim,” said the bureau in a statement following a coal mine safety conference in January.

AFP

FG’s Policy In Mining Sector Showing Positive Results, Says Buhari

FG’s Policy In Mining Sector Showing Positive Results, Says Buhari
President Buhari with the NMGS President, Professor Silas Dada; his vice Alabo Charles; and his predecessor Professor Olugbenga Okunlola at the State House in Abuja on June 28, 2018.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari says the Federal Government’s key policy objective of rejuvenating the mining sector is being realised as witnessed by the diversification of the economy and broadening of the country’s revenue base.

He made the remark on Thursday when he received the national executive members of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) at the State House in Abuja.

The President was delighted at the ongoing formalisation of illegal mining as a way of curbing its implications on national security, revenue generation, the environment, as well as health and safety of the citizens.

He noted that his administration has been vindicated in its assumption that the nation’s endowment in mineral resources, mining and solid minerals sector has the potential to create employment, increase revenue and reduce poverty.

President Buhari attributed the successes recorded so far to the Federal Government’s policy of increasing budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development; formalisation of illegal mining; approval of funds from the Natural Resources Development Fund to support small miners; as well as enhancing capacity and human capital development.

He also highlighted the significant roles of the strengthening of the regulatory framework, enhanced transparency in the licensing process, and the ease of doing business in the achievements recorded in the mining sector.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, the President pledged the government’s continued support to the sector.

Responding, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari, said the favourable government policy in the sector had led to the activation of dormant mining licences, increase in earnings by the government and the prevalence of “mining prosperity” in the country.

The NMGS President, Professor Silas Dada, thanked the Federal Government for the “revitalisation and rejuvenation” of the mining sector in the country.

He also joined other members of the delegation to confer a laurel on President Buhari who now becomes the Grand Patron of the NMGS.