Abandoned Mining Sites: A Danger to Communities Across Nigeria

Since the disruption of the coal industry, abandoned mines have surfaced throughout Nigeria. As of 2017, the country had an estimated 1,200 identified abandoned mining sites—sites where mining activities ceased without proper closure or reclamation. Widespread negligence of mining sites has given rise to environmental degradation and negative health impacts in the form of flooding, landslides, and significant erosion as well as respiratory diseases and lead poisoning in children.

The government has signaled its intention to formalize the sector, improve revenue collection, and increase the contribution of solid minerals to the country’s gross domestic product. But progress has been slow and uneven, complicated by a lack of geological information and limited government capacity. Residents consider the government’s efforts to be merely cosmetic.

The Leveraging Transparency and Reducing Corruption (LTRC) project is supporting investigative journalists in identifying implementation gaps and plausible solutions to concrete challenges within extractives.

The report concludes with recommendations for government, communities, and civil society groups.

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