Friday, February 3

GACH reacts to ban on white sand mining

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GACH Global has reacted to the Minister of Petroleum and Energy announcement that the company bans mining or selling white sand.

The minister of petroleum Abdoulie Jobe recently told a stakeholder meeting that as part of measures towards regulating mining activities in the country particularly around the coastal areas, the Geological Department is ordered to stop the GACH Company from selling and mining white sand being extracted from the Gambia.

But in a statement shared with The Voice, the company said: “There are a number of companies that use the GACH name albeit in different variations. The company involved in mining is GACH Mining Company Limited

and as you must be aware is a distinct legal entity from other sister companies that share its first name. As such a general reference to “GACH Company” in the headline is misleading and has reputational repercussions for other companies not connected to this story.

“Furthermore, as a Limited Liability Company with Shareholders, Gach Mining Company is different from its CEO, we therefore do not appreciate the use of the CEO’s picture on publications concerning the company as if he were the alter ego of the company. For the record, the CEO while a staff of the company

is distinct from the company. To clarify, we hold a mining licence for heavy mineral sands and as clear

with the provision of our licence we can sell some of the sand tailings (by product of the mining) which are not needed for rehabilitation,” the company added.

The company added: “In fact, in certain sites we choose not to sell the sand tailings at all as was the case in Brufut, and in other cases where the tailings exceed the amount required for rehabilitation, we sell to the construction industry and for crucial public infrastructure projects. A portion of the proceeds of this sale is paid to

Government in the form of royalties, while the majority of it is used for corporate social initiatives in the communities in which we operate.

“Case in point between 2019 and 2021 in Sanyang, we renovated the central mosque at a cost of GMD1, 000,000.00, built a solar powered borehole, and donated 1000 bags of cement for community projects. In Brufut we rehabilitated the operations site and entered into an Agreement with the Department of Parks and Wildlife for the planting of 1500 indigenous tree species as well as the hiring

of permanent park rangers to tend to this reforestation project,” the company added.

According to the company, in Batokunku it has donated 150 street lights to the community, and in the coming year it will be building a community hospital complete with admission wards and maternity facilities, as well as the fencing of the village football field amongst others.

“We have also commissioned studies to see how the environmental damage caused by other companies can be leveraged to create fishponds to promote aquaculture in these communities. To reiterate we have Environmental Management Plans and are dedicated to the preservation of the Environment,” it added.