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FG revokes 924 dormant mining licences, defaulters to pay N10m fine

FG revokes 924 dormant mining licences, defaulters to pay N10m fine
April 24
16:05 2024

The federal government has revoked 924 dormant licences across four sectors in the mining industry.

The areas affected include exploration, mining, small-scale mining, and quarrying.

Dele Alake, minister of solid minerals development, announced the revocations at a news conference on Wednesday.

In line with constitutional provisions, Alake said adequate notice was given to all concerned parties through the official Gazette of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, No. 227, published on December 27, 2023.

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The minister said the decision was made after following due process and fair consideration, emphasising the government’s commitment to implementing the standard policy of “use it or lose it” as enshrined in mining guidelines.

“The notice gave all concerned parties 30 days to regularise their status, including clarifications on what caused the license to be dormant,” Alake said.

“Thus, although a total of 963 licensees were published and notified of the threat of revocation, no fewer than 39 either moved to site immediately or convinced the authorities of the challenges hindering their operations.”

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Alake said due to the situation, 924 dormant licences were revoked, comprising 528 exploration licences; 20 mining leases, 101 quarry licences, and 273 small-scale mining licences (SSML).

The minister said the move would sanitise the licencing system by penalising those who have “commercialised the opportunities offered by the sector into a bazaar”.

Alake said investors across the globe are now free to apply for any of the “affected cadastral units on the basis of first come, first served”.

Noting that the revocation is not meant to be punitive, the minister announced an opportunity for the affected licensees to make restitution, imposing fines for different categories of revoked licences.

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This, Alake said, also applies to the 1,633 titles revoked last year for default in payment of annual service fees.

“For revoked mining licences, a fine of N10m applies; N7.5m for small scale mining license (SSML) while N5m for exploration license (EL),” he said.

“They will be required to make the payments within 30 days to qualify for consideration.”

The minister also warned against illicit activities such as licence racketeering or obtaining licences for speculation with the intention of selling them to the highest bidder, stating that the government will not tolerate such actions.

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