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[Published: Thursday July 03 2008]

Nigeria wants miningreparations

Jos , Nigeria, 04 July-(ANA)- Nigeria 's Plateau Statewants $100bn (50bn) in compensation from the UKand Europe for environmental damage caused, itsays, by mining in colonial times.

The NigerianNuclear Regulatory Agency has discovered radioactive materials buried under thesoil, officials say.

Radioactive wasteoccurs in the material that remains when tin is extracted from its ore.

Many children andcattle are also reported to have fallen into wells dug by the tin mining firmsand drowned.

The mines wereowned by British and other European companies between the early 1900s and the1960s.

The stategovernment has compiled a report showing the extent of the damage during thattime.

It says miningcompanies dug around 5,000 wells.

The Jos Plateau -which the state is named after - became one of the world's major suppliers oftin.

But other metalssuch as lead, uranium, tantalite and zircon have also been mined.

Tin was exportedto cities in the UK such asLiverpool and Manchester.

Reports say themining has affected farmers, fishermen and grazing grounds belonging to Fulaniherdsmen.

Other people havesuffered health problems from drinking water from the ponds as the watercontains a lot of iron.

The stategovernment is asking for representatives from the UK and other countries to visitaffected areas to see the damage.

It said if thereis no reparation or compensation then it would take "appropriate legalaction". (ANA)

FA/ANA/04 July2008---

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