Katsina State Government has identified 422 mining sites and no fewer than 547 artisanal miners in the state in its efforts to explore non-oil sector opportunities for development.
These findings were contained in the state government’s mineral sites inventory survey recently concluded.
The Commissioner of Resource Development, Alhaji Mustapha Kanti-Bello, who disclosed key highlights of the survey findings during an Empowerment and Sensitisation Programme for Artisanal Miners in the state, said that the ministry would partner with some private companies to carry out a comprehensive geological survey of some selected mining titles in the state.
According to him, this step will help to ascertain the commercial viability of the mineral resources and provide the required information for investors in the sector now and in the future.
Kanti-Bello who confirmed that the need for the artisanal miners to have value for their products had been of utmost priority to the ministry, explained that this is why government was determined to establish a mineral buying centre to coordinate the activity of buying and selling of minerals at their standard value in the state.
He hinted that the state government was making serious efforts to collaborate with the private sector for the purposes of establishing the centre.
The commissioner charged the state’s artisanal miners to collaborate by forming cooperative societies and registering with the appropriate authorities to benefit from government’s support in line with the provisions of Mining Act, 2007, and other relevant laws.
The occasion was used to distribute working tools to various artisanal miner groups in the state.
Speaking on behalf of the groups, Alhaji Ashiru Danmasanin-Jibia commended the state government for the material support and promised that the beneficiaries would make judicious use of the tools to improve the state’s GDP.