#National News

MoPE reacts to an article published by online newspaper

Jun 26, 2020, 1:02 PM | Article By: Fatou Dem

Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MoPE) has reacted to an article published by Malagen online newspaper with headlined: Gov’t, GACH, and Mining for minerals: Where are the $ millions,’ calling that as false and misleading.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, Energy Minister Fafa Sanyang said the article miscarried information of the mining activities, especially the black sand commonly called Heavy Mineral Concentration (HMC).

The Malagen online newspaper article reads: Official records obtained by Malagen shows that from 2017 to 2019, a total of 559 twenty-foot containers of heavy mineral sand has been exported to China. On average, each of those containers carries 27 tones. This would have accrued a minimum revenue of US$2.2million (approx D115. 6 million).  It added that, in 2020 alone- as of the beginning of February, at least 40 twenty-foot containers of heavy minerals have been exported. No payment has been made to the government, as of April 16, 2020.’

Minister Sanyang said accurate information on the amount of royalty paid by GACH to the government has always been given by the minister to the National Assembly at the time of questioning by Deputies. He said since the issuance of license, GACH Company has paid the amount of US$649, 0001.04 as royalty to the state for the shipment of 15,386.45 metric tons of HMC.

The energy minister said the amount paid to the government represents 60% of the Net Profit after the deduction of operational costs incurred by the company.

He said Heavy Mineral Concentrate (HCM) is always in a concentrated form and it's not processed in The Gambia but in China for sale. "The processed price of HMC indicated by Malagen (online newspaper) is higher than the unproceeded price of HMC exported from The Gambia," he said.


He also argued that payment of royalty for HMC is effected by the company upon receipt and processing of cargo, with the average shipping times from the date of loading varying between 2 to 3 months. "The tax payment being the responsibility of the license has been a requirement in the terms and conditions of the license."

He said tax is only liable on 40% shares of GACH and not the total sales revenue, saying the HMC deposits were subjected to brief mining and currently GACH is mining the HMC and has exported 15,385 metric tons from October 2017 to June 2020.

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