Niger Mine Collapse: Implementing Safety Regulations

Following the devastating rockslide that buried over 50 miners in a gold mining site in the Farin Doki area of Niger State, north-central Nigeria, it is necessary for the government to enforce safety regulations in mining operations.

Development Diaries reports that the incident, which officials have attributed to heavy rainfall, raises questions about mining operations in the country, where there are a lot of mining incidents, many of which involve illegal miners and go unreported.

In light of this unfortunate and tragic incident in Niger State, a thorough investigation must be conducted to determine the cause of the rockslide and prevent future occurrences.

The findings of the investigation should inform stricter safety standards and enforcement mechanisms to protect miners’ lives.

The important laws and policies that govern artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in Nigeria are the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Regulations, 2011 and these regulations directly address concerns about safety, environmental preservation, and mineral exploration.

These laws and policies need to be strengthened, and there is also an urgent need to strengthen information aids and sources to formalise artisanal and small-scale miners in Nigeria.

Also, there is a need for massive sensitisation on safe mining issues, safety education and awareness, medical outreaches, and miners networking among miners.

The Ministry of Solid Minerals Development needs to formalise artisanal and small-scale mining to ensure adequate operations management and encourage the participation of relevant stakeholders such as medical doctors and paramedics, rock mechanics, and mining engineering experts.

Development Diaries calls on the ministry to strengthen mining regulations and safety protocols, enforcement of mandatory safety training for miners, regular inspections of mining sites, and implementation of advanced safety measures and equipment to prevent such disasters in the future.

Photo source: BBC


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