Dr Dele Alake, Minister of Solid Mineral Development

By Innocent Orok

In furtherance of efforts to sanitise Nigeria’s mining sector, the Federal government has revoked a total of 924 dormant licences spanning exploration, mining, small-scale mining, and quarrying.

Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Mr. Dele Alake announced the revocation at a press conference on Wednesday.

He declared that in line with constitutional provisions, adequate notice was given to all concerned parties through the official Gazette of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, No. 227, which was published on December 27, 2023.

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

Of the 928 dormant licences revoked, 528 were for exploration; 20 mining leases; 101 for quarrying, and 273 Small Scale Mining Licences (SSML). The Minister said owners of the revoked licences have 30 days to redeem them by paying fines.

” For revoked Mining Licenses, a fine of N10m applies; N7.5m for Small Scale Mining License (SSML), while N5m for Exploration License (EL). They will be required to make the payments within 30 days to qualify for consideration, “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. ” It is our belief that this decision will sanitise the licensing system by penalising those who have commercialised the opportunities offered by the sector into a bazaar, ” Alake said.


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