The International Tin Council's three day conference held in Lagos last week ( 9 - 11 March ) was followed by a week of visits to the tin fields in Northern Nigeria, during which delegates were able to study the problems of the industry at first hand.
The International Tin Council's three day conference held in Lagos last week ( 9 - 11 March ) was followed by a week of visits to the tin fields in Northern Nigeria, during which delegates were able to study the problems of the industry at first hand. The visit centred on the town of Jos, 700 miles ( 1120 KMS ) north of Lagos, where delegates visited the museum and mining school.
The conference had coincided with a strike of 3,000 miners at Jos ( on March 10 ) in protest at non-payment of a government-approved cost-of-living allowance. But at nearby Forom, it was work as usual at D.K. Ejukorlem and Company's lease when delegates visited it on Monday ( 15 March ).
SYNOPSIS: Delegates to the International Tin Council, which held a three-day conference in Lagos last week, have been visiting the tin mines of Northern Nigeria to study some of the industry's problems at first hand. At this mine at Forom, near the tin mining centre of Jos, they watched men separating the tin ore from the soil by sluicing it in fast-moving streams of water.
The delegates to the conference found themselves close to local as well as international problems. While hey were meeting in Lagos, three-thousand miners went on strike at Jos. They complained that they had not been paid a government-approved cost-of-living allowance. Here at Forom it was work as usual, but the visiting delegates were well aware that mining costs in Nigeria, as in other countries, have been rising faster than profits. World tin prices have been falling, and only a shortage of supplies could strengthen the market, they had been told at the conference.
Having watched the process by which the ore is separated from the soil, the delegates climbed across rough ground to see more tin-bearing deposits being blasted out of the earth. Nigeria produces about 12,000 tons of tin in a year. The mines suffered labour difficulties during the civil war because Ibo miners left the area. Now things are back to normal, but there are still uncertainties in the world market for tin.