By Mustapha Jallow
Heavy mining of the pristine sands at Sambuya Village in Kombo South district continues unabated as questions regarding how much is derived from the venture and by whom and the environmental impact remain unanswered by the government after repeated unsuccessful attempts to get an explanation from concern officials.
Foroyaa is trying to find answers to the questions on the mining activities in Kartong and elsewhere regarding what the annual total output and total earnings from exports are? How many companies are involved and their names? What is the total revenue derived by government from this venture? What environmental impact can it have and how to mitigate it? And where else is mining of precious minerals taking place in the country?
When this reporter visited the area yesterday, 9 February, he found over 200 trucks in a long queue waiting for their turns to be loaded with sand. He also observed that each of the trucks had to pay at both the loading site and also when they are leaving the area.
The area used as horticultural garden, locally called ‘Nako’, by some of the village women has been completely taken over and is being mined. It is also observed that the palm trees and palm fronds that dotted the once beautiful landscape have mostly been uprooted to give way to further mining activities.
Foroyaa had earlier reported that sand mining at Kartong, which had been a source of conflict between the community, security forces and miners, has now transferred to Sambouya. It was revealed that a company called Alhamdulilai Petroleum Mineral Company Limited is in charge of the operations.
It was also revealed that a trip of sand at the time was sold at D1,285 after paying D500 to loaders and another D35 to the now defunct National Transport Control Association.
One of the officials at the site said they are presently mining the white sand for building construction works but will eventually start mining the black sand or elminite.