The Federal Government has commenced moves to revive mining activities in Enugu coal mining sites, which have been inactive for about four decades.
The Minister of state Mines and Steel Development, Uche Ogah, made this known when he visited the state governor Ifeanyi Ugwunayi.
Coal generated lots of revenue for Nigeria between the years 1916 and 1960s when it was one of Nigeria’s major revenue earners, before the advent of oil.
Records has it that, in the south eastern part of the country, coal mineral exploration began in present day Enugu State in 1909, with production at
the mines in Onyeama, Ogbete, Iva Valley and Okpara climbing from 25, 511 tons in 1916 to an estimated 583,422 tons before its decline set-in, in the
Despite efforts put in-place to revitalise the mining sector three decades after the exit of Britain and Poland who were the former explorers, the
sites had since remains the ghost of itself, seeking urgent intervention from government to enable mining exploration to contributes to the nation’s
Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Current reality has it that mining is no longer carried out at Onyeama, Iva Valley, Ogbete and Okpara mines, this informed the minister’s visit to have
a firsthand experience and reach out to the state government on the need to source for real investors that will revitalise the mining industry.
Plagued with dilapidated infrastructure with deplorable access roads to the coal sites, the Minister explains that the government’s goal was to
resuscitate the coal sites for expanded power generation by attracting companies to develop these large coal resources and construct coal-fired
generating plants that will connect to the country’s electrical distribution grid.
The state director mining reveals that Onyeama site alone has about 150 million tones unscratched with proven research of about 25 million tones
that will last for years, if adequate resources and manpower are deployed to intensify the potentials in coal development business.
It is hoped that the revitalization of the four major mining sites in Enugu state for power generation and Bitumen exploration, which is used road
asphalting, it will not only increase the nation chains of revenue generation, but will boost the nation’s power supply and reduce unemployment ratio in the country.