By Ogenyi Ogenyi,Uyo
Akwa Ibom government said it has shut down the operations of an illegal Chinese mining company, Ruitai Mining Company, in Ibeno Local Council of the state for operating without relevant licence.
The firm is said to be mining Titanium Ore while it was registered as an exploration firm.
Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources Chief Uno Etim Uno made this known yesterday when he embarked in an unscheduled visit to the site with his Ministry of Internal Security counterpart, Brg. Gen. Koko Essien (Rtd).
According to a statement from the ministry of environment, the duo who were conducted round the mining site by the Chairman of Ibeno LGA, Chief Williams Mkpa, “discovered black clay-like minerals contained in sack bags of 50kg, and described by the miners as Titanium Ore.”
“On critical examination of the site amidst tight security, the Managing Director and Director of the company, Zeng Zhonghuan and Huang Ying, were not available at the site. The available staff members could not provide any information or documents.”
Further examination according to the statement showed that the company is purely an exploration company while it’s Board of Directors comprised only of Chinese and thus, not eligible to acquire the Small-scale Mining License as claimed.
It was also discovered that the Company has not conducted the Environmental Impacts Assessment ( EIA) in its mining operations and has not submitted the Environmental Management Plan (EMP), among other documents.
The team therefore recommended that the Mining Company should terminate its mining operations, until due clearance legitimizing its operations is completed with the State Government.
“That the Company should approach Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources(MEMR) on or before Friday, 1st September, 2023 with all the relevant papers authorizing its operations, with full coordinate of the area approved for its mining operations.
“That all security operatives should be withdrawn from the mining site, while the DPO of Ibeno LGA, SP Victor Ezekwu, should enforce the directive in order to ensure strict compliance.”