A team from the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Technological Development (Minmidt) will be visiting semi-mechanized mining sites in the next few days to verify authorizations, announced the head of this ministerial department, Fuh Calistus Gentry, on Thursday, September 7. He announced the upcoming checks at a meeting with mining companies and the mayors of semi-mechanized gold mining zones in the East (Batouri, Bétaré-Oya, Colomine, and Kette) and Adamaoua (Meiganga) regions.
The team's mission will be to take stock of all the artisanal permits being exploited in this area, to clean up the sector, we learn. To this end, the government official asked mayors to identify all companies operating in their area of jurisdiction. He also instructed them to close the sites of companies that are yet to apply for permits. Fuh Calistus Gentry said: "Regional delegates will now send mayors a copy of signed authorizations to facilitate follow-up.”
He also recommended that the relevant departments identify alluvial zones to be dedicated to semi-mechanized and handicraft activities. For better monitoring of activities in the field and possible denunciations, he requested that two telephone lines be made available (one at his office and the other at the Mining Directorate).
Currently, the government is grappling with illegal mining operators, particularly in the Eastern region, where operators with simple research permits have fraudulently embarked on mining operations. NGOs often accuse such companies of destroying the environment. In a circular letter dated August 18, Minmidt announced the suspension of companies and the withdrawal of permits from certain operators.
The suspensions applied to both operators who failed to formalize their activities and those who applied for permits within the prescribed deadlines but failed to rehabilitate exploited sites and implement social projects that would benefit local populations. The sanctions came after a 45-day deadline, extended by 15 days, granted to active semi-mechanized artisanal miners to submit a complete application for authorization for the semi-mechanized mining of precious and semi-precious substances.
Patricia Ngo Ngouem