The Department of Mines Environmental Compliance (MEC) is one of the technical departments created during the restructuring/reforms in the Ministry in 2005. Its operation took off in March 2006 and the creation was backed up by section 16 sub-section 1 (b) of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007.  The Department comprise of two (2) Divisions namely, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Reclamation and Rehabilitation (R&R) and Four Units namely, Monitoring and Enforcement, Social Analysis, Reclamation Management and Environmental and social Rehabilitation.

Roles and Responsibilities

a. To Enforce compliance with all National Mining Laws and Regulations, especially; Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007, EIA Laws, Pollution Control, Safety Code and Regulations in mining.

b. Develop realistic, transparent and stable environmental monitoring schemes of mine sites;

c. Promote compliance to social, health and safety standards in the development of mining activities;

d. Ensure the adoption of environmentally sound mining technologies to mitigate environmental impacts, including those of small scale mining operations;

e. Encourage public participation through dialogue with affected communities and other directly interested parties on the environmental aspects of different phases of mining activities;

f. Stipulate and monitor compliance with approved procedures for the reclamation and restoration of mines out sites and monitor the recovery of such areas.

The Functions of the Department as Contained in Section 18 (a-d) of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Act, 2007

i. Monitor and enforce compliance by holders of mineral titles with all environmental requirements and obligations;

ii. Review all plans, studies and reports required to be prepared by stakeholders of mineral titles in respect of their environmental obligations under the laws;

iii. Periodically audit the environmental requirements and obligations established pursuant to this Act, its regulations and by any other law in force and make recommendations thereon to the Minister;

iv. Liaise with relevant Agencies of government with respect to social and environmental issues involved in Mining Operations, Mine closure and Reclamation of Land.

Projects and Programmes of the Department

a. Reclamation of Abandoned Mine Sites.

b. Revalidation of Abandoned Mine Site.

c. Procurement of field monitoring equipment

d. Field monitoring and compliance enforcement.

e. Environmental auditing

f. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) (jointly with FMEnv.)

g. Review of Environmental Protection & Rehabilitation Program (EPRP).

h. Community Development Agreement (CDA) and other social Issues.

i. Review of Annual Reclamation Statements

j. Review of Fuel Storage Plans.

k. Review of Mine Closure and Decommissioning Plan

l. Coordination of activities of the State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO).

m. Coordination of Environmental Protection & Rehabilitation Fund (EPRF).

n. Abandoned Mine Sites Reclamation Programme.

o. Collaboration with Federal Ministry of Environment; National Environmental, Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA); and Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NNRA).

p. Coordination of climate change activities as an emerging environmental issues

Head of Department

Dr. Vivian Okono

Divisions/ Units

This Division comprise of 2 units, namely; Monitoring and Enforcement and Social Impact Analysis

1. Monitoring and Enforcement Unit:

The duties and responsibilities of the Unit are as follows;

i. Review of EIA Reports of new mine sites.

ii. Develop framework, guidelines and good practice for EIA in the mining sector.

iii. Advise mine proponents on EIA procedures and mitigation measures.

iv. Liaison with relevant departments in other ministries and with MCO on licensing.

v. Screening and scoping advice to Federal Ministry of Environment and Mines and Quarry proponents.

vi. Monitor compliance to pollution guidelines and regulations in all mine sites.

vii. Developing framework, guidelines and good practice for environmental management, monitoring and audit.

viii. Operational monitoring of compliance of the mine and quarry operators with standards and requirements.

2. Social Impact Analysis Unit

i. Impact predictions, collation and analysis on health and social status

ii. Evaluation of social impacts and enforcement of mitigation measures.

iii. Developing framework, guidelines and good practice for social management, community liaison and occupational health and safety management.

iv. Enforce adherence to regulations on environment and social management.

v. Review and monitor health and safety standards.

vi. Publicity, awareness and information dissemination.

vii. Enforce transfer of social and economic benefits to mining host communities through signing and implementation of Community Development Agreement (CDA) between Mineral Title Holders and their host communities.

This Division comprise of 2 units, namely; Reclamation and Management and Environmental and social Rehabilitation.

1. Reclamation and Management Unit

i. Setting requirements for and administering mine closure plans and reclamation bonds.

ii. Characterization of abandoned mine sites.

iii. Develop framework, guidelines and good practice for mine closure planning and reclamation.

iv. Monitor containment clean up and remediation plans/approaches.

v. Promote and support research in reclamation methods and techniques.

vi. Review post impact remediation responses and actions.

vii. Ensure reforestation of reclaimed sites.

2. Environmental and social Rehabilitation

i. Management and implementation of the Rehabilitation Action Plan for abandoned mines and legacy.

ii. Operational monitoring of compliance of the mine and quarry operators with biodiversity conservation standards and requirements.

iii. Monitor rehabilitation, construction works and clean-up programme.

iv. Liaison with relevant departments in the Ministries and with mines department.