Minister Abubakar Bwari said 2 million Nigerians got their livelihood from artisanal and smallscale miners, who produced 90% of the country’s mineral output. There is no accurate and up-to-date data on the number of small-scale miners in Nigeria, or how m
He added that the lack of data on small-scale mining was one of the reasons for the launch of the Delve initiative.
Delve – a platform for artisanal and small-scale mining statistics – is being developed as a partnership between the World Bank and Pact, a nonprofit international development organisation. It is set to publish its first State of the Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Sector report in October 2018.
There is no accurate, up-todate information on how many small-scale miners there are in Nigeria, let alone how many people they support. We therefore rate the claim as unproven.
Olu Jacob, the aide who prepared Bwari’s speech, told Africa Check the 90% figure came from the ministry’s artisanal mining department.
But data the ministry provided to the National Bureau of Statistics didn’t back the statistic up.
The latest mining and quarrying data shows 45.7 million tons of solid minerals were produced in Nigeria in 2017.
This comes from the records of licensed miners. These include artisanal and small-scale miners registered with the ministry through cooperatives, but excludes unregistered artisanal miners.
The mineral extracted the most was granite (38%), followed by limestone (31%) and laterite (8%), which is used for road construction.
Small-scale miners go for gems and precious metals
Prof Sola Ajayi of the First Technical University in Ibadan told Africa Check that in his experience in the field, smallscale miners don’t extract granite and limestone, but rather mine for precious metals and gemstones with hoes and diggers.
Companies who received licences to mine limestone in 2015 included cement manufacturing giants such as Dangote Cement and the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, a report shows.
The solid minerals produced in the largest quantities in Nigeria are mined by large companies, while the minerals dug out by small-scale miners don’t even feature in the top 10.
We therefore rate the claim that artisanal and small-scale miners are responsible for 90% of Nigeria’s mineral production as incorrect.