Gambia gets “huge” iron ore

June 26, 2008

June 26th (Afrol News) – Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has announced the discovery of “huge” deposits of iron ore in his country, refusing to reveal the exact location of the natural resource until mineral exerts have finalised their work.

In January this year, Mr Jammeh disclosed the discovery of minerals, including uranium and gold, assuring his country’s capability of exporting its “enough mineral resources.”

Gambian leader broke the news at State House on Wednesday where he had received an official of the East Line Company, Salah Ezzeddine. The official, whose company claims to be operating in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, handed over a cheque of D4 million to President Jammeh, being the royalty on the export of 10,000 metric tonnes of sand minerals from The Gambia.

The consignment were seized from Carnegie Minerals Gambia Limited whose operations had been banned by the government, accusing it of involvement in illegal operations.

Gambian authorities arrested, detained and arraigned the British Manager of the Australian firm for his role in the “illegal” operations. Carnegie was given 24 hours to “come clean” on its activities or risked expulsion.

Mr Jammeh was confident that “Allah will provide the country with the best quality iron ore.” He said he will make public another discovery after exportation of the iron ore starts.

Jammeh would not finish his comments without throwing punches at Carnergie Minerals Gambia Ltd, accusing them of engaging in a “game of deception.” He also accused the company of shipping 400 containers of sand minerals from The Gambia for tests and failed to inform the government about the results.

He said “from day one, Carnegie’s intention was to exploit Gambians.” Jammeh said his comments could be supported by the company’s failure to give substantial amounts of money to the government, though it had exported huge tons of minerals abroad.

East Line representative said his company would do all it could to live up to expectations and thanked Gambian authorities for giving the company the space to operate in the country.

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