Our attention has been drawn to the article above written by a certain Tabora Bojang. We are appalled by the content of this article which contains some inaccuracies which we believe could have been avoided had we been contacted prior to the publication of this story.
Your article states that “Director of Parks and Wildlife, Momodou Lamin Kassama, revealed that his office has signed a memorandum of understanding with GACH Global to pay compensation for environmental damages related to its mining operations in the reserve. ‘Birds from Tanji to Brufut’ i. In response to this, we wish to correct that GACH Global is not the entity engaged in mining activities in the coastal areas of The Gambia.
Mining activities are carried out by GACH Mining Company Limited, which is a completely different entity from GACH Global.
Moreover, there was no agreement to pay compensation. As part of our mining license, we are required to rehabilitate our mining sites and restore them to their previous state. In the case of Brufut, we did not mine, but rather reprocessed a stockpile of mineral sands that had been deposited at Brufut during previous mining operations in the 1960s and reprocessed by Carnegie Minerals in the early 1960s. 2000. It is important to note that although this site is on the margins of the reserve area, it is and has been a mineral sand storage depot site for the past 50 years.
A detailed environmental impact assessment was prepared and a key part of our environmental management plan was the reforestation of the Brufut reserve with native tree species, following the physical rehabilitation of the site. Given their expertise in this field, we have had fruitful engagements with the Department of Parks and Wildlife and have concluded a memorandum of understanding to finance the reforestation of nearly 1,500 trees of various species as well as the allocation of field staff to care for these trees. at a cost of 1,500,000 GMD Everything was agreed before the start of the reprocessing activity and a 50% advance of an amount of 750,000 GMD was paid. The balance must be paid at the start of the reforestation activity.
We completed the reprocessing activity earlier this year and completed the physical rehabilitation of the site by backfilling and dune contouring. With that out of the way, the Department of Parks and Wildlife will proceed with the reforestation exercise.
It is therefore important to note that the sums in question are not intended to “compensate” for the damage caused to the Tanji Bird Sanctuary but for reforestation efforts as part of our plans to restore the site to an even better condition. and greener than it was. before the start of our activity.
The article further stated that “the company has temporarily ceased operations following a shutdown notice issued by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum.”
This is incorrect since the Company completed all activities at this site and completed the backfilling earlier this year. The shutdown notice referred to in your article was a general shutdown notice addressed to several mining companies, in particular mining companies engaged in the mining of construction sand in coastal areas.
Additionally, it is important to note that at the time the review was posted, there was no ongoing activity on the Brufut site. The company has an excellent working relationship with the community and regulatory authorities who are aware of the completion of activities at the site.
We note that the last paragraph of the article seems to paint an accurate picture of the facts, but the title and the first paragraph of the article seem to disagree. As a company, we are committed to preserving the environment and we strive at all times to ensure that at the end of the activity, the mining sites are fully rehabilitated.
We would like to emphasize the importance of reaching out to all concerned parties for their side of the story before going to the press. I cannot stress the damage that could be done to companies like ours as well as the risk of causing civic disaffection. We always remain available to be contacted on stories that involve us and will greatly appreciate your prompt correction of the captioned article.
CEO, GACH Mining.