BUA International Limited has said the Edo State government does not have the legal powers to order the immediate shutdown of Obu Mines, No. ML2541, which has been a cause of contention between the company and Dangote Group.
It was earlier reported that the management of Dangote Group, over the weekend accused BUA of engaging in illegal mining of limestone deposited in its Mining Lease, No. 2541, located in a boundary town of Oguda/Ubo in Okene Kogi State.
The Edo State government had also explained that its decision to order the shutdown of the mining site follows a directive from the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and to avoid the breakdown of law and order in the community.
But BUA International Limited in a statement by Otega Ogra, Group Head, Corporate Communications, said the Edo state government lacked powers to shut the site.
The company said: “However interesting to note that the mine under contention, ML2541, has been claimed repeatedly by the Ministry of Mines and Dangote to be in Okene, Kogi state. Thus, we are curious and are at great loss as to why the Governor of Edo State is closing down a mine in Edo State which has been claimed by the other parties involved to be outside his state in Okene, Kogi State and which the purported ML2541 license also states clearly.
‘‘The Ministry has written us prior and our response was published in our open letter to His Excellency, The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on December 4, 2017. This case remains in a competent court of jurisdiction which has ordered all parties – BUA, Dangote, The Ministry of Mines and others to maintain status quo and we will continue to abide by the dictates of the court as a responsible corporate citizen.’’
“We are however yet to receive some form of official communication asking us to close our mining sites ML18912 and ML18913 in Edo State, thus this alleged closing down report still remains in the territory of hearsay. We will respond accordingly when and if we get an official communication from the proper authorities,’’ BUA enthused.