A Chinese firm identified as Ruitai Mining Company has been shut down for operating illegally in Akwa Ibom State, South-South Nigeria.
The company, accused of operating illegally, failed to produce a valid operational license upon request from the state government
Briefing news men, Mr. Uno Uno, the Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources in Akwa Ibom State said Ruitai Mining Company was engaged in Titanium Ore Mining in Ibeno without authorization.
Ibeno is one of the oil-producing Local Governments in Akwa Ibom and has housed the Chinese firm for an undisclosed number of years, report says.
According to Uno, the Chinese firm, despite not having authorization had been mining the natural resource quietly in the area before it was busted by concerned citizens.
He disclosed that aside not having an operational license, the firm could not produce an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report to show the impact of its operations on the community.
He said, “The joint ministerial inspection team included the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Iquo Abia, on arrival at Ibeno community, were conducted round the mining site by the Chairman of Ibeno Local Government Area, High Chief Williams Mkpa.
“The team discovered black clay-like minerals contained in sacks of 50kg, which was identified by the miners as titanium ore.”
“On critical examination of the site amidst tight security, the Managing Director of the company, Zeng Zhonghuan, and a director, Huang Ying, were not available at the site. The available staff members could not provide any information or documents,” he added.
One of the most alarming revelations was that the company, whose board of directors comprised Chinese nationals, was not eligible to acquire a small-scale mining license, as they had previously claimed.
Mr. Uno indicated that the firm had wrongly identified itself as an exploration company.
He finished by stating that Ruitai Mining Company must immediately cease all mining activities until it obtains proper clearance from the state government.