Gambian authorities revoke licence of mining company

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Flag of the Gambia

Gambian government has revoked an operating license gran ted to a foreign mining company, Carnegie Minerals, and threatened possible lega l action against it, a press communiqué from Office of the President at State Hou s e in Banjul said on Thursday. The Gambian President Yahya Jammeh on 15 January gave a 24-hour-ultimatum to the company to “fully explain the type and quantity of minerals” it was mining or risk loosing business in the tiny West African nation. However, he extended the ultimatum by six days. Other demands related to the actual international value of minerals exported from the mines located at Sanyang Village, some 40 kilometres south-west of Banjul. The communiqué said the information supplied by the company was “unsatisfactory, ” and therefore its licence had been cancelled. “The government will ensure that the employment of the local staff engaged by th e company is guaranteed,” it said. Meanwhile, dependable sources say the British-born Managing Director of the comp any, Mr Charles Northfield, has been arrested by personnel of Gambian Police Force. Carnegie Minerals has been engaged in the mining of what some observers believed to be zirconium and other minerals. Shortly after coming up with the 24-hour ultimatum to the company, President Jammeh announced the discovery of “strategic mineral resources” including uranium.

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