Zamfara state will prosecute artisanal miners who carry out operations in residential areas.
The Zamfara State Government on Thursday in Gusau announced a ban on the processing of gold ore in residential areas of the state.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Environmental Sanitation, Marwan Haruna, said the ban is to stop the increasing incidences of lead poisoning.
The ban follows the discovery of new cases of lead poison in the state capital.
Mr. Haruna said that the government would prosecute anybody who defies the order.
He said the activities of artisanal miners have become a serious threat to public health, adding that the government would do everything possible to check the ugly trend.
On the report of outbreak of lead poisoning in some parts of Gusau emirate, the adviser said the government has dispatched medical officials to verify the claim.
The Emir of Gusau, Kabir Danbaba, had on Wednesday alerted the government on the new cases and the death of two children.