By Tabora Bojang
The minister for Energy and Petroleum has disclosed that total royalties generated from the mining operations of heavy mineral sand concentrate locally known as ‘black sand’ by GACH stands at US$1,483, 816.59.
Fafa Sanyang made this disclosure while responding to questions from lawmakers who wanted to know the types of minerals mined in the country and the benefits accrued to the state in the past five years of the Barrow administration.
GACH is a Gambian-owned company headed by Abubakary Jawara. The company was licenced in 2018.
According to Minister Sanyang the minerals exported are ilmenite, rutile and zircon.
He disclosed that since the commencement of its mining operations, GACH paid US$1,483,816.59 royalties to the Central Bank.
Minister Sanyang said in addition to payment of corporate income tax, GACH provides institutional support to the Geological Department in accordance with its mining licence.
Kombo South lawmaker and majority leader Kebba Barrow asked the minister the amount of money the department paid to the communities where the mining took place over the last five years.
The minister replied that the department does not pay money to communities.
“Instead, the arrangement is 50% goes to central revenue, 25% to Geology, 20% to the councils and 5% to the NEA. But how much each gets I don’t have the actual figures,” Sanyang said.
Meanwhile, the management of GACH has reached out to The Standard and provided an update on generated revenues and paid taxes of their mining operations. The Gach statement is as follows:
“Since mining began in 2019 the company has shipped close to 33,118.05 tonnes of HMC from Sanyang and Brufut. About 30,007.94 has come from Sanyang, while the balance of 3,110.11 was obtained through reprocessing an old stockpile that existed at Brufut from previous mining activities in the 60s. The breakdown by year is as follows: 15,585.12mt for the mining year 2019-2020 (Sanyang), 14,442.82mt for the mining year 2020-2021(Sanyang), 3110.11mt for the mining year 2020-2021 (Brufut).
“The gross revenue generated by the company during this period was in the region of US$6,234,846.25. This revenue is without deduction of expenses. The total royalties paid to government is about US$1,552,000. Other payments to government are: US$54,000 as surface rental fees; US$134,000 as institutional support to Geological Department; about D6 million in taxes and levies to central and local governments.
“Under our corporate social responsibility, GACH donated 100 bags of cement for the construction of a garage in Sanyang community; constructed a solar-powered borehole and storage tank for Sanyang school and for the benefit of the community; renovated Sanyang mosque at a cost of D1 million; constructed and equipped a new police station for Sanyang at a cost of about D4.2 million following its burning during protest; supported women gardeners in Sanyang with money and farm tools to assist in gardening activities; sponsored Sanyang football tournament to foster peace and cohesion; constructed a new security service office in Sanyang for Immigration, SIS and others at a cost of about D3.5 million; donation of US$10,000 to the VDC of Brufut to support local development; gave D500,000 to the Scorpions for the Afcon competition.”