The Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office has said that BUA Group did not have a mining lease over the contentious site (No. 2541ML) belonging to Dangote Group and is therefore engaging in illegal mining.
In a statement signed by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Abass, and made available to our correspondent, the ministry said the management of BUA Group has been using men of the force to mine marble and limestone in mining sites allocated to the Dangote Group.
The statement further stated thus: “The management of BUA also resisted the enforcement of the latest stop work order issued on October 17, 2017 using a combination of armed militia, soldiers and policemen to obstruct the team from the ministry in effecting the stop work order.”
Abass stated, “The order was issued after thorough investigation confirmed that the BUA Group was indeed engaging in illegal mining of marble/limestone at a mine pit located on geographical coordinates N070 21’ 47.4’ E0060 26’ 51.8’, while the run-of-mine is stockpiled at an area with geographical coordinates N070 21’ 48.4’; E0060 26’37.2’.”
He furthered: “Clarification provided by the Mining Cadastre Office shows that the coordinates of the mine pit and RoM stockpile area fall wholly within the area of mining Lease No 2541ML belonging to Messrs Dangote Industries Limited.”
Abass added, “The ministry had earlier in 2015 issued a stop work order on this same disputed site but the BUA Group disregarded the order and went ahead with its illegal mining activities, under heavy cover of armed soldiers, policemen and men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.”
Abass said that the ministry would not rest on its oars to get back the site to Dangote Group said to be the rightful owner. He also added compromise due process in its commitment to promote local and global investments in the Nigerian mining sector.