The Federal Government yesterday said that it had identified 1,200 abandoned mining sites across the country.
the Acting Director of Mines Environmental and Compliance Department in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, MrSalimAdegboyega disclosed this to the press in Abuja.
He said that more abandoned mining sites would be identified as the field surveys were still ongoing.
Adegboyega recalled that the Federal Government reclaimed many abandoned mining sites which were managed by the Northern Regional Government in 1955.
“The Federal Government gave some grants to the Northern Regional Government and about 1,000 mines were said to have been reclaimed through biological and other means then,’’ he said.
Adegboyega said that the Federal Government also reclaimed several abandoned mining sites in 1980.
He said that the ministry had reclaimed 17 abandoned mining sites out of the 1,200 identified sites.
The acting director said that the reclaimed sites were in Ebonyi, Plateau, Kano, Borno, Abia, Kaduna and Cross River states, among others.
Adegboyega said that on the average, the ministry spent between N80 and N100 million to reclaim a mining site, but said that the expenditure could be less depending on the size of mining site.
He said that mines’ reclamation was an expensive venture as the cost depended on size of a site and the distance where materials would be brought to fill the mines and other factors.
He noted that the rating of sites was based on the potential degree of their environmental hazard, adding that the ministry selected the first 40 mining sites out of the 1,200 identified sites for the reclamation.