Nigeria cracks down on illegal Chinese mining


Last year, the Nigerian government announced that it would no longer tolerate rampant illegal mining and would begin enforcement actions to crack down on the practice. To make sure that it was taken seriously, the government set up special courts to prosecute illegal mining cases. Then, the states deployed heavily armed patrols to go into remote areas to apprehend offenders.

Dozens of Chinese nationals were arrested in a number of raids this spring, mostly in the southwestern state of Osun.

In addition to curtailing illegal mining activities, the government is also going after Chinese companies that violate environmental regulations. Authorities took action against the Hongao Mining Company, which ran a gold mine near Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, for polluting the local water table.

Officials were tipped off to Hongao’s misdeeds from an investigative report produced by Chinedu Asadu, a journalist at the Nigerian online news site TheCable. Chinedu joins Eric and Cobus to discuss the Hongao case and the government’s broader efforts to rein in illegal Chinese gold mining.