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Geology Department official testifies at commission

Aug 23, 2017, 10:59 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Alieu Jawo, assistant director at the department of geology, Monday 21 August 2017 testified at the commission looking into the assets and financial transaction of former President Yahya Jammeh.

Continuing his testimony on Alhamdulilai Petroleum Mineral Mining Company, Mr Jawo said Pap Ousman Bojang submitted the company’s application for a prospecting license, acting as the Managing Director.

While the move to submit license application for Alhamdulilai Petroleum Mineral Mining Company was ongoing, there was operation as usual with Carnegie, he said but they received a letter from the Office of the President instructing them to stop Carnegie from operating, signed by Njogu Bah.

Carnegie’s licence was then cancelled, he said, adding that Toni Ghattas and Mrs Lubna Farage started the negotiation, and did come up with a model of a licence.

He said those who represented the government rejected the idea.

He testified that Carnegie Minerals was issued with a licence and their equipment were used by Gamico, adding that 35,000 metric tonnes of minerals was waiting for shipment according to Carnegie Minerals (these were stockpiles).

Mr Jawo adduced that Gamico was given a temporal licence and they exported the stockpiles of minerals, adding that their office did not know where the royalties went to.

He said the market price varied from $150 per metric tonne.

He testified that the government representatives raised issues that they wanted to mine where Carnegie was mining.

There was a letter from the government for temporal licence to Gamico, he stated.

He said that while the negotiation was ongoing, Gamico was doing the mining.

He said that on 13 June 2016, the Office of the President issued the mining licence signed by the former president.

Mr Jawo adduced that on 12 November 2008, the department threatened to revoke their licence for not fulfilling their obligation, adding that Gamico promised that they would fulfill their obligation.

He said Gomico invited a technical staff in 2010 from their department, adding that the company were to pay $20 per metric tonne as royalty.

Instead of paying that, he said they decided to pay $30 per metric tonne, adding that they continued operating until September 2016.

He said the company paid $100,000 for the training of the staff of their department, adding that they received a letter on 19 January 2009, for the operation of the company.

He stated that August 2014, they received notification of change of management from the Office of the President addressed to Gamico.

Mr Jawo posited that the Office of the President wrote to Gamico to hand over the company to Ismaila Sanyang and Abdoulie Cham of the department of Geology.

He stated that the mining sites were visited by General Sulayman Badjie, adding that there was an inventory by the time the licence of Carnegie was revoked.

He adduced that there was a letter stating that the share of Muhamed Bass would be given to Apam and some to be given to the government, adding that the letter was from the Office of the President.

He testified that Gamico never got a prospecting licence, adding that there were some executive directives which they had to follow.

He said that in August 2015, Gamico was issued a licence by the former president, adding that Ansumana Tamba was the MD of Apam and Toni Ghattas later took over.

He posited that Apam was supposed to pay D364,650 as surface rental for one year, adding that in addition to this sum, the company was supposed to pay D3,400,000 as institutional and development fee which they failed to do.

He testified that Apam was operating without registering the business.

He stated that during Ansumana Tamba’s time, Apam did not pay the sum of D2,973,800 from 2015 to 2016, adding that there was an underpayment of D3,437,350 by the company.

He adduced further that in March 2017, their department wrote to the ministry that Apam did not fulfill their obligation and of royalties, adding that their licence was terminated by the geology department.