Enugu state Government has sealed a coal mining site at Iwollo in Ezeagu Local Government Area of the State. The site belonging to Afrimetals Coal Mining firm was sealed for not keeping to the memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the state Government. .
Pix- SPA Nnaji (2nd Left),Commissioner Ugwu(2nd Right) questioning the operators
The state Government also confiscated three vehicles, comprising one grading Caterpillar and two trucks belonging to the firm..
Speaking on the sealing of the site and confiscation of the trucks, the Commissioner for Environment and Climate Change, Prof. Sam Ugwu and the Special Adviser to the Goverrnor on Energy and Mineral Resources, Kingsley Nnaji ,Esq , who led the state Government’s team to the site said they were at that site in November ,2023 and reached an agreement with the firm, which they did not keep to. They said the site was sealed before and the operators did not keep to agreement reached. They went back to site, hence the sealing and the confiscation of the three trucks.
Pix :Prof Ugwu hands over letter of invite to a meeting with state Govt.
Pix: Confiscated trucks, caterpillar
The top Government officials frowned at the activities of the operators who said they were still exploring the site. Prof. Ugwu and Nnaji, Esq wondered how the miners would say they were still on exploration when the state Government received a report that they moved trucks loaded with coals from the site constantly. An evidence of mining..
They disclosed that there were some documents which the firm was supposed to present as well as payment to be made to the state Government which they have not done.
Answering questions from the state Government’s representatives, the operators said they were still on exploration and had moved 6 trucks of coal to somewhere in the state to run a test. They said they found coal deposit and left it on the surface, looking for potential buyers .
They however, explained that the coal they mined around November,2023 were exposed for a long time and started burning, which made them.incur some losses.
Their explanations were mixed up and did not go down well with the State Government’s representatives.
Pix: The sealed site
Pix- Confiscated trucks(2) and one Caterpillars
Following the recent directive from the state Government that illegal coal mining sites should be sealed, and trucks seen at the site be confiscated until the mining firm is cleared, a decision was made and the site was sealed for the second time . Three vehicles ( one Caterpillar and two trucks) were also confiscated and taken to police station, Iwollo, where they were handed over to the District Police Officer, DPO Chukwu.
Pix: Pix- The confiscated trucks
The Commissioner for Environment and Climate Change ,Prof. Sam Ugwu , as well as the Special Adviser to the Goverrnor on Energy and Natural Resources, Kingsley Nnaji Esq, said the trucks will remain in Police custody pending their full investigations into the illegal mining activities and compliance with the environmental MOU reached with the State Government , the Enugu state High Court order, and the state Government’s ban on illegal mining activities in the state
Pix- DPO Chukwu( L), SPA Nnaji( m) Commissioner Ugwu(R) briefing the DPO
Author:: Maureen Ikpeama
Pix: Handing over statementt to the police