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Ministry of Mines and Steel Development USE OF MERCURY IN ARTISANAL AND SMALL-SCALE GOLD MINING IN NIGERIA. A PRESENTATION BY MR. O. C. AZUBIKE, (DIRECTOR,

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Presentation on theme: "Ministry of Mines and Steel Development USE OF MERCURY IN ARTISANAL AND SMALL-SCALE GOLD MINING IN NIGERIA. A PRESENTATION BY MR. O. C. AZUBIKE, (DIRECTOR,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development USE OF MERCURY IN ARTISANAL AND SMALL-SCALE GOLD MINING IN NIGERIA. A PRESENTATION BY MR. O. C. AZUBIKE, (DIRECTOR, ARTISANAL AND SMALL-SCALE MINING DEPARTMENT), MINISTRY OF MINES AND STEEL DEVELOPMENT, AT A REGIONAL MULTI-STAKEHOLDERS WORKSHOP: ANGLOPHONE WEST AFRICA SUB- REGIONAL ACTION PLANNING ON MERCURY USE IN ARTISANAL AND SMALL SCALE GOLD MINING ORGANIZED BY THE UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME. 8 th – 10 th JUNE, 2011.

2 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development MAP OF AFRICA SHOWING POSITION OF NIGERIA

3 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Introduction. Nigeria lies approximately between latitudes 4°N and 14°N and between longitudes 3° E and 15° E. Nigeria is Africas most populous country with a population of over 140 million. Type of Government: - Democratic - Presidential - Federal Republic. Major Seaports: Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Warri, Calabar, Onne & Sapele.

4 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Introduction. (Cont.) Climate: Temperature range 22 o – 36 o C. Natural Resources: - Oil and Gas - Solid Minerals - Tin Columbite, Coal, Limestone, Lead/Zinc, Gold, Bitumen, Gemstones etc. Currency – Naira. -N150-N155 = 1USD. -N220-N225 = 1Euro.

5 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) is one of those terms that does not lend itself to a universally acceptable definition. The term can be used to cover a broad spectrum of activities: -Army run Hpakant jade mines in Myanmar (Burma) -Individual garimpeiros panning for gold in remote regions of the Brazilian Amazon. -Simple rural folks digging for Rock phosphate in Danj/Shini in Sokoto state to the ones digging for Barytes and Tourmaline in Azara, Nasarawa State and Komu, Oyo State respectively. What is Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining?

6 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Artisanal Small-Scale Mining is a livelihood strategy adopted primarily in rural areas. Minerals extracted by Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining by people working with simple tools and equipment, usually in the informal sector, outside the legal and regulatory framework. When not formalized and organized, Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining can be viewed negatively by governments, environmentalists, etc; because of its potential for environmental damage, social disruption and conflicts. What is Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining? Cont.

7 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Exploitation of minerals by artisanal methods has occurred in Nigeria for over 2,400 years, from basic clays to base metals and gold; Between 400BC – 200AD vibrant societies and kingdoms such Nok culture exploited iron and clay deposits and produced the famous terracotta figurines; Between the 11 th – 12 th century, Ife and Oyo Kingdoms mined and used a variety of minerals; Between 1903 – 1940 ASM operation dominated mining in Nigeria, particularly for tin; History Artisanal Mining in Nigeria.

8 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development From 1970 till date ASM has continued to dominate mining in Nigeria; ASM account for over 90% of solid minerals mining in the country. Minerals produced include but not limited to Gold, Brytes, Limestone, Gemstones, Gypsum; More than 107 ASM sites identified in the country and with over 200, 000 people directly involved. History Artisanal Mining in Nigeria (Cont.)

9 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners exploit marginal or small mineral deposits. Application of very basic and rudimentary mineral extraction techniques. Lack or low level of mechanization. Unskilled personnel are involved at all level of operations: technical and managerial. Inefficient mining and processing techniques are most often adopted. Low level of production. Poor access to markets. Characteristics of Artisanal Small-Scale Mining Activities in Nigeria (Cont.)

10 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Chronic lack of investment capital. Low level of consideration to health and safety. Have significant negative impact on the environment. Low level of income amongst operators. Operating without legal mining titles. Gender issues and child labour. Conflicts. Characteristics of Artisanal Small-Scale Mining Activities in Nigeria.

11 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Chaotic Illegal Artisanal Mining Site.

12 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development LEVELS OF ASM OPERATIONS. Currently, Artisanal and small-scale mining ranges from Artisanal miners to Small-Scale mechanized outfits and within this range are various levels depending on their financial capacity. They can be classified into two major groups namely: Artisanal Mining (AM) with the following levels: Manual, Subsistence level, Labour intensive, Capital poor and; Small Scale Mining (SSM) with the following sub groups within it: Manual-semi mechanized, Mechanized.

13 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Gold Occurrences in Nigeria. Gold occurrences in Nigeria are mostly associated with the Supracrustal (Schist) Belts in the northwest and southwest of Nigeria. The most important occurrences in the Schist Belts are: Maru, Anka, Malele, Tsohon Birnin Gwari-Kwaga, Bin Yauri, Okolom, Dogondaji and Iperindo areas. Other smaller occurrences abound beyond the major areas.

14 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Gold Occurrences in Nigeria (Cont.) Official production of gold in Nigeria dated from 1913, reaching its peak between 1933-43. Production declined owing to factors such as the World War II, lack of funds by the Nigeria Mining Corporation, discovery of petroleum in 1956 etc. Absence of systematic exploration and development of the gold fields paved way for intense artisanal activities that is still subsisting today.

15 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Geological Map Showing the Major Areas of Gold Mineralization in Nigeria.

16 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Gold bearing quartz vein in hornfels at Mararaba Bin Yauri, Kebbi State, Nigeria.

17 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development The areas of gold occurrences in Nigeria (NGSA)

18 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Statistics of Gold Production in Nigeria.

19 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Presently, most Gold Production in Nigeria are by Artisanal Miners.

20 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Artisanal miners following gold-bearing quartz Vein.

21 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Means of Gold Extraction Millions of Artisanal and small-scale miners all over the world use mercury to extract gold and it is the same in Nigeria. Reports from baseline study on artisanal gold mining in some parts of the country indicated that mercury is being used for gold extraction. The use of mercury by small-scale miners causes extensive damage to the environment and to health.

22 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Means of Gold Extraction (Cont.) The health hazards are not only for the artisanal and small-scale miners, but also for the communities where gold extraction takes place. The mercury released from artisanal and small-scale mining stays in the environment for a long time and will thus affect the health of the future generation.

23 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Formalization of Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners. Forming artisanal and small-scale miners into mining cooperatives/quarry associations Registration of Private Mineral Buying Centres. About 1,000 applications have been received, 300 mining cooperatives and quarry associations registered.

24 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Extension Services. Section 91 of the Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act, 2007 provides that performing (and registered) Mining Cooperatives should be provided with extension services on the following areas: -Prospecting and exploration services. -Mineral reserve evaluation techniques. Mine/quarry design and planning. -Application of modern mining technology.

25 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Extension Services (Cont.) -Environmental Impact Assessment report and; waste and tailing disposal methods. -Health and Safety procedure in mines. -Entrepreneurship, legal, mineral marketing and mineral economics. -Provide teaching equipment and plants hire on arrangement with manufacturers. -Mineral processing technology skills.

26 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Extension Services. Development of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Hand Book. Deployment of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining officers to Artisanal and Small- scale Mining areas.

27 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development Introduction of Use of Borax for Gold Extraction in Nigeria. Borax method of gold extraction has been in use in Philippines. The method is simple, not expensive as it does not require advanced technology. It is non toxic.

28 Ministry of Mines and Steel Development THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION.


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