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Naijatreks | Exploring the Neglected Coal Mines of Enugu’s Iva Valley

Exploring the Neglected Coal Mines of Enugu’s Iva Valley

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Exploring the Neglected Coal Mines of Enugu’s Iva Valley

A mysterious chain of deep valleys jewelled the charming landscape of Enugu City; and steep walls of stratified rocks beatify the confines of these valleys, within which outcrop the ‘black gold’ of ancient Nigeria: the black gold that powered our railways and brought us fortune for decades.

Iva Valley is one of these valleys. The valley and its coal mines are reposed in the south-western outskirts of Enugu City, capital of Enugu State in Eastern Nigeria.

Visible from 9th Mile road is the small dingy enclave that developed as a result of coal mining in the locality and is located at the mouth of the Iva Valley, and can be seen sprawling up the steep valley walls.

Extant within the Iva Valley are the relics of ancient mine structures and activities, which include gigantic machines and mining equipments, submerged tunnels, ramps, collapsed office buildings etc.

These relics therefore constitute a picture of Nigeria’s economic past especially in regards to her energy sector; and therefore means that they’re typically historical objects which can be harnessed for historical tourism purposes, instead of being neglected for perpetual degradation and ruin.

This is therefore a call to the Enugu State Government and Nigeria at large to come to the rescue of this wonderful museum of our economic past, locked away in the depths of Enugu’s Iva Valley.

*The Iva Valley Coal Mine was opened in 1917 by the British colonial government of Nigeria after the Udi Mine in 1915, making it the second ever coal mine established in the city of Enugu.

The few photos below were taken during a brief recent visit to a part of the Iva Valley Coal Mine:

Nt-Iva15 – Iva Valley, Enugu


– The small community of Iva Valley climbing up the hill slopes.


Nt-Iva4 – The old coal office at the mine.



Nt-Iva2 – One of the submerged mine tunnels at the site.




Nt-Iva6 – A thin layer of coal seam outcropping along a part of the valley wall.


– Going down deep into one of the mine tunnels.


Nt-Iva14 – A pebble of coal.

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This article was written by Folarin Kolawole

Founder of Naijatreks, Nigerian-born Folarin Kolawole is a geologist, travel writer and researcher. When not at work, he travels the length and breadth of Nigeria, exploring, taking photos and writing about her numerous hidden tourist potentials.   'Naijatreks' is a product name registered under the Ntreks brand, which is also duly registered by Nigeria's Federal Corporate Affairs Commission. The contents on this blog are re-usable. However, it must be ensured that it is linked back to this blog, and correctly attributed to Naijatreks or the author. Please do not edit, rewrite or commercialize the original works on this blog without direct and written permission from the Founder (Folarin Kolawole). For inquiries and advert placement on the blog, kindly contact us at or