Makurdi- At least, there are 20 illegal mining sites operating in Benue, according to Mr Shianode Aarga, the Director, Mining and Solid Minerals, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
Aarga told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Makurdi that activities were pronounced in Logo, Guma, Gboko, Kwande and Ushongo Local Government Areas.
According to him more than 10 illegal sites are located in Logo, where granite, core, natural gas, limestone, barite, zinc, gypsum are mined.
He said that the state government could not take action against the operators because mineral exploration is the exclusive preserve of the Federal Government.
More than 15 brands of mineral deposits in commercial quantities abound in the state, he said..
The director blamed the ministry’s inability to ascertain the quality and quantity of the minerals on paucity of funds and personnel, adding that the ministry needed N200 million to purchase equipment.