Carnegie Minerals, the Australian mining company which had its mining license revoked by the Gambia government last week, has strongly refuted the allegations in a statement posted on its website. The news release states: “The Company strongly refutes these charges and is working closely with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to secure his [Charles Northfield’s] release. The Company wants to make clear that a component of mineral sands (Ilmenite, for which we are licensed to mine) is Titanium and Iron oxide. We would also like to clarify that trace amounts of uranium occurring in the Gambian mineral sands are usual for such deposits and cannot be economically extracted and therefore have no commercial value.”
The statement continues by claiming that the company, “has previously notified the Gambia government of this trace occurrence in its previous information submission and that Carnegie was willing to pay for independent international industry experts to review the Company’s mining data to assist with their understanding of it.”
The company states in conclusion, “We strongly refute all charges that the Gambian Government has levied against us. We have been operating in The Gambia since 1999 and have always strongly adhered to the legal processes as set out by the Gambian Government and our mining license.
“We are now doing everything in our power to ensure the safe return of our employee.”
At the time of going to press, the Managing Director of Carnegie Minerals The Gambia Limited, Mr. Charles Northfield, was in police custody.