6 killed as illegal miners excavate gold in Nasarawa

From Francis Nansak, Lafia
Six people have been reportedly killed over disputes surrounding the discovery of new gold mines in Uke of Karshi Development Area in Karu Local Government of Nasarawa State.
Sources said that since large quantity and high grades of gold were discovered in the area, artisan miners from other states in the North and foreigners from some francophone countries had taken over the sites.
The AUTHORITY gathered that since December last year, the miners had taken advantage of the gold deposit to acquire over 10,000 hectares of land for the exploration of the precious mineral.
A source said that the activities of the miners, especially at a gold field in Roguwa Village in Uke, had led to economic boom among the residents and the foreigners, who have flocked the community.
The source alleged that because of the pure nature of the gold, there has been constant fighting amongst the miners with about six persons killed over the ownership of the site.
He said: “I wonder if these people are doing this business with the consent of the federal and state governments; what I can only say is that from time to time the authorities of the Karshi Development Area do go there to collect revenue and I learnt the Sarkin Karshi is aware of their presence and the kind of business that is ongoing in the area.a�?
A resident, Mr. Yusuf Agwai, said that the gold found in the area is comparable to that in South Africa, but expressed regret that the interest of government on solid minerals is poor.
One Umaru Adamu, who said he is the Chairman of Artisan Miners from Kebbi State, confirmed that their presence in Uke was based on information that gold has been discovered in the area.
According to him, since they started excavation, what they have found out is that the gold deposit in the area is of international standard as there are those of 12 carat to 22 carat in huge quantity.
On whether they have contacted the state government, Adamu said that since they have been relating with Sarkin Uke.
He however denied the report on the number of people killed on the mining site, saying he was only able to send away a group of youths who had issues with one another.
The AUTHORITY discovered over 1,000 machines installed which are used for the separation of the commodity. There were also 500 people crushing stones with various chemicals.

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