Opponents skeptical of Gambian President’s mineral discovery claims (Source: Mineweb)

Gambia’s President Jammeh says that his country has discovered exploitable minerals including uranium, gold, silicon and titanium. His opponents claim most resource statements from the President have come to nought.

Author: Frank Jomo
Posted: Tuesday , 22 Jan 2008


Investors should not wag their tongues yet with news that the impoverished nation of Gambia has discovered uranium and other precious metals.

Opponents of President Yahya Jammeh told the Freedom newspaper that Jammeh's mining resource statements often turn out to be less than truthful.

In a televised address to the nation during celebrations marking the Muslim New Year, Jammeh, who seized power in a military coup in 1994, said the tiny West African country has discovered commercially-exploitable deposits of uranium and other rare minerals.

"The biggest discovery is the discovery of uranium in the Gambia. These minerals I have talked about, we are 100 percent certain that they are in this country and can be exploited," said Jammeh. The President recently took Africa by storm recently when he announced that he had discovered a cure for HIV-Aids, but denied doctors a chance to test his concoction.

Jammeh told Gambian citizens to remain united during the mining process. But the news of the discovery of the precious metals has not moved opposition officials, while most Gambians are very cautious about the announcement.

Opposition officials--who feared reprisals from the Jammeh Government and spoke on condition of anonymity--told Freedom that this is not the first time Jammeh has made such announcements, citing the time the President said the country had oil. However, up until now, there has been no drilling for oil in the country.

"This is a President who is not to be trusted," Freedom quoted an opposition official. "He survives in lies, deception and fantasy. We think this is another hoax from Jammeh. There is nothing new about what he is talking about."

The opposition further bemoaned government's reported lack of transparency in mining activities in the country. They claimed that the country has been involved in sand mining for a long time, but mining earnings have not been made public.

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