By Tabora Bojang
The director of Parks and Wildlife, Momodou Lamin Kassama, has disclosed that his office signed an MoU with GACH Global to pay compensation for the environmental damages related to its mining operations in the Tanji bird reserve in Brufut.
GACH is engaged in exploration of heavy minerals in several sites in coastal villages such as Brufut and Sanyang.
The company has temporarily ceased operations following a stop notice by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum.
Mr Kassama was responding to enquiries by the concern people put to him by The Standard.
He revealed that D1.5 million has been agreed for payment meant to cover remediation programs including restoration of trees in affected areas. Director Kassama however lamented that GACH has only paid 40 percent of the amount in the sum of D600,000 with about 900,000 still outstanding. Asked if that sum is not small, he said: “We are following it up with them to pay the remaining amount but to be fair with them, they too have found damage caused by their predecessors Carnegie Minerals.”
The Minister of Energy, Abdoulie Jobe, who toured the mining sites in the coast over the weekend, disclosed that the mining companies in these areas have all been notified to stop while the ministry reviews all mining licences.