By Juldeh Njie
The government of The Gambia has generated at least D10 million profit from exports of APAM heavy mineral stockpiles, the minister of Petroleum and Energy, Fafa Sanyang told lawmakers.
He made these revelations during the First Ordinary Session of the National Assembly in the 2019 legislative year.
“Gach has so far exported 4,376 metric tons derived from the APAM heavy mineral stockpile. This export by Gach has accrued a payment of US$205,672 to government as per our share of the profit generated,” he said.
However, the minister said Gach is yet to start its mining operations as the company is still in the process of equipment mobilisation.
In October 2017, a mining license was granted to a Gambian registered mining company, Gach. The agreed royalty was 60 percent to government and 40 percent to Gach, derived from the net profit of the mineral sale.
“The heavy minerals deposits notably ilmenite, rutile and zircon which are called Heavy Mineral Concentrates (HMC) are mainly found in the three locations of Batokunku, Sanyang and Kartong.”
He said the minerals deposited have been mined sporadically since 1950s to November 2016.
“The total reserves of heavy minerals, as at 2004, were estimated at 682,200 metric tons with a 3% cut-off grade. After several years of mining, the total remaining deposits in all three locations are estimated at 438,778 metric tons,” Minister Sanyang noted.