Granite Mining Operations in Umuelema Land, Amata-Village, Community, Ishiagu 1950-2010

Joseph C. Chukwu


Granite mining operations took place in some parts of Ishiagu community in the colonial and part of the post-colonial eras before the Nigerian civil war 1967-1970. The villages involved were Amonye and Amaeze village communities. The agencies of government that carried out the operation were the Nigeria Railway Corporation and the Nigeria Army Engineers. Mining activities commenced in the large expanse of land belonging to Umuelema kindred, Amata village, Ishiagu in the 1950s but increased in tempo in the 1970s following the end of the Nigeria civil war in 1970s. The war had some devastating effects on parts of the Nigerian nation, particularly Igboland which was a war theatre where virtually the entire infrastructural developments of the pre-civil war society came to the ruins. Availability of granite stones in our area of study attracted various categories of miners to the land. Labour was sourced from within and outside Ishiagu. Land lease agreements were entered into by each miner or groups of miners (leasee) and (the land owner leasers). Each party benefitted from the enterprise due to its lucrative nature.

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/11-10-04

Publication date:May 31st 2021

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