The Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act (NMMA) 2007 has vested the control, regulation and ownership of all mineral resources in all states on the federal government.
This is stated in a document made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja.
It said all lands in which minerals had been found in commercial quantities shall be acquired by the Federal Government in accordance with the Land Use Act.
It said that the property containing the mineral resources shall pass from the government to the person by whom the mineral resources were lawfully won, upon their recovery in accordance with provisions of the Act.
The document also explained that the NMMA 2007 was enacted to deal with the shortcomings of the minerals and mining Act No. 34 of the 1999 Act.
It said the 2007 Act was enacted to also deal with the principal legislation that regulated all aspects of exploration and exploitation in the mining sector.
The document said the Act was enacted to deal with broad discretionary powers granted to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development on matters relating to the granting of mineral titles.
It also said that some of the key features of the NMMA 2007 include, the eligibility requirements to grant mineral titles, the grant of title on a “first come, first served” basis.
The Act also required the ministry to establish Mining Cadastre Office to issue mining titles and environmental consideration which provided that holders of mineral title should prevent pollutions of the environment resulting from mining operation, among others.
The document explained that the post-independence phase in the mineral sector in Nigeria had evolved allowing the Federal Government of Nigeria to create enabling environment for mining activities to flourish.