By Omar Bah
The Minister of Energy has maintained that GACH Group paid $649, 001.04 to government, despite reports that only $293, 000 is in the mining accounts.
Last week, Energy Minister Fafa Sanyang informed lawmakers that GACH Group has paid $649, 001.04 as royalty to The Gambia government.
Asked to prove his claims at the parliament in a media briefing yesterday, Minister Sanyang replied: “We have proved of our claims that the money is paid to the Central Bank. It is like any revenue; when money goes to the CBG we don’t have any access or authority to it.
When we go to the parliament we can only tell them a certain amount was paid to the government but we will not be able to tell how much is in the accounts. The CBG should be able to answer where and how that money was spent.”
“It is worthy of mention that accurate information on the amount of royalty paid by GACH to government has always been given by the minister to the National Assembly at the time of questioning by deputies. Since the issuance of licence, GACH Company has paid the
amount of $649, 001.04 as royalty to the state for the shipment of 15,386.45 metric tons of Heavy Mineral,” Minister Sanyang added.
He said the amount paid to government represents 60% of the net profit after the deduction of operational costs (mineral extraction, transportation, freight, port handling charges, labour, etc.) incurred by GACH.
“The licensee (GACH) was required to provide a bond of $30, 000 as guarantee for the rehabilitation of the affected areas after mining operations,” he added.