Tension mounts in the Udege-Mbeki community of Nasarawa State’s Nasarawa local government area as reports emerge of plans by Kenpang Mining Company, a Chinese firm, to extend mining operations into residential zones.

Local youths are vehemently opposing this move, asserting their determination to safeguard their ancestral lands and heritage at any cost.

Udege-Mbeki and its environs are renowned for their abundant mineral resources, including columbites, cassiterite, tantalite, and tin, which have historically attracted foreign mining interests to the region.

Kenpang Mining Company began operating in the area in 2011 following the departure of Vactis Tin Mines.

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A stakeholders’ meeting scheduled to address the issue within the community was abruptly canceled after youths, disillusioned with the proceedings, petitioned Governor Abdullahi Sule over the purported actions of the Chinese firm.

Subsequently, the meeting was relocated first to the local government headquarters and later to Keffi town.

In a letter addressed to Governor Sule dated February 28, 2024, and signed by Ibrahim Hussaini, leader of the Concerned Youths of Udege-Mbeki, the group highlighted the consistent breaches of agreements by the Chinese company.

They accused the firm of failing to adhere to terms requiring the restoration and reclamation of mined-out areas, leading to environmental pollution and degradation.

Furthermore, they criticized Kenpang Mining Company for its failure to provide essential amenities, infrastructure, and employment opportunities for skilled locals, despite years of exploration activities in the region.


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