Anxiety In Nasarawa Over Mining Firm’s Expansion Plan

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There is palpable tension in the Udege-Mbeki community in Nasarawa local government area of Nasarawa State following an alleged move by a Chinese firm, Kenpang Mining Company, to expand mining activities to residential areas.

The development is being resisted by the youths in the community who have vowed to “safeguard and protect their ancestral heritage” at all costs.

Udege-Mbeki and surrounding area is noted for hosting large deposits of columbites, cassiterite, tantalite and tin which had attracted foreign miners to the community across centuries.

Kenpang Mining Company commenced operation in the area in 2011 after the exit of another company Vactis Tin Mines.

Stakeholders meeting earlier slated for the community last Friday, was aborted few hours to the scheduled time as youths who were privy to the agenda and disenchanted with the body sent a petition to Governor Abdullahi Sule over the alleged plan by the Chinese.

The meeting venue was later moved to the headquarters of the local government area and later shifted to Keffi town.

The youths under the aegis of Concerned Youths of Udege-Mbeki in a letter to Governor Sule dated 28th February, 2024, signed by the leader, Ibrahim Hussaini and obtained by our correspondent, said the Chinese company had consistently breached the agreement it reached with the community and cannot be trusted to engage in further expansion outside the demarcated area allocated to it.

They said part of the agreement is the restoration and reclamation of the 50 kilometers of the already mined out area, which the firm has refused to respect and therefore opened to community pollution and other degradation.

They also explained that the firm failed to provide amenities and infrastructure, as well as employment to skilled indigenes of Udege-Mbeki, Odu, Eyenu and Agbazo, to high position even having engaged in exploration activities for many years.





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