This blog has written a great deal about several dubious business dealings involving foreign and local business partnerships with Jammeh during his 22 years dictatorships. One of those business associations was with Carnegie Minerals (Gambia) Ltd.
Below is one in a series of blog posts about Carnegie Minerals that was published in January 2014. We will be republishing blog posts relating to Jammeh's other business dealings including but not limited to African Petroleum Company, March Petroleum and Westwood.
This blog post was first published in 20th January, 2014
|Uranium mining in Niger|
It could be recalled that in 2008, security forces raided the offices of Carnegie Minerals in Sanyang village and arrested its Managing Director, Charles Northfield, and accused the company of illegally mining for titanium, iron ore and uranium which was outside the contract which allowed for only zircon, silicon and ilmenite. Mr. Northfield was later smuggled out of the country by a private British security firm to save their client from certain torment at the hands of a megalomaniac dictator.
Questions being raised now is why would Judge Nkea proceed with the judgement while arbitration tribunal in Washington is still deliberating. Is it that Jammeh smelt the rat? Is it a preemptive move in anticipation of an unfavorable ruling from the ICSI tribunal? Jammeh's record of honoring binding contracts has been anything but good. He's walked off contracts, seized private investor's property and has deported investors who end up forfeiting investments left behind in The Gambia. And as a South African online paper at the time Carnegie Minerals (Gambia) Ltd ran afoul of Jammeh aptly put it " Being dispossessed is turning into a common occurrence to those that dare venture into Gambia, and as African countries clamor for investors, the list of countries being forced to leave the West African nation seems to be growing."
According to mining experts, the geology of the area doesn't seem to support Jammeh's claim. It is seen rather as a ploy to get rid of Carnegie Minerals (Gambia) Ltd. in an attempt to seek out a more favorable deal for himself. After all, the entire petroleum and mining concessions in the Gambia have been negotiated exclusively by the Office of the President with few officials having access to details of contracts signed with foreign entities, including the Carnegie deal. Since they are not tendered internationally, they remain the exclusive domain of the dictator and few of his officials which explains why those who even worked in the Ministry of Petroleum and officials handling the mining concessions are either in jail or they have their travel documents seized and thus prevented from travelling abroad. It is an industry shrouded in secrecy and for good reason, as we begin to uncover more of the corruption that permeates the Jammeh regime.