Osun State Government has registered 9,000 artisanal miners and their biometric data collected as part of moves to curb illegal mining and boost the economy of the state.
The state governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, disclosed this in Osogbo on Tuesday while declaring open a 3-day Economic and Investment Summit in the state.
Oyetola explained that the Osun Revenue Diversification and Maximisation Scheme (ORDMS) will register all miners, mines and mining equipment and report on all mining activities in the state in partnership with private sector technology partners.
The governor also said the state government has executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a renowned mining company as part of necessary preparation for the commencement of mining operations in the state.
He said “We are happy to report that 9,000 artisanal miners have registered their biometric data on RFID-enabled tags with our technology partners.”
The governor hinted that the state has received a sum of N100 million from Badger Mines, a Canada-based mining company, as sign-on fee for exploration and development of one of the state’s mining titles.
Oyetola expressed optimism that the summit would achieve the desired results going by the positive responses obtained so far from key players in the private sector.
He said the state government is fully prepared to give all the support required for investment to thrive, particularly in mining, tourism and culture and agriculture.
According to him, “Our mining sector, like agriculture, is an old industry yet to be fully harnessed. The State of Osun has ample reserves of a variety of minerals, notably gold, lead/zinc, quartz, feldspar and several precious metals.”
He added: “We occupy a unique place in the mining sector in Nigeria. We are a mining state that hosts solid minerals. We are also a state that has invested in acquiring the licences for solid minerals under our land from the Federal Government.
“No other state in Nigeria can offer the unique combination of both regulatory and commercial fusion. We are a risk-ready state with an appetite for enterprise and reward for winnings.
“The state acquired 17 mining licenses for Gold (10); Quarry (4); Lead/Zinc (2); and Quartz and Feldspar (1), from the Nigeria Mining Corporation, and we are willing to partner with interested local and foreign investors to develop these mineral resources.
“Our policy for the mining sector is implemented and overseen by the Osun Solid Mineral Development Programme. This programme commenced in June 2019, and has already achieved some encouraging milestones in its First Quarterly Report in 5 of the 7 intervention project areas of the programme.”
“The intervention areas are Osun/Omoluabi Mining Business Restructuring Scheme (OMBRS) to commercialise the state-owned mining company.”