Officials of Fajara Mining Company remain mute over the heavy mining of stones in Kaur, North bank region, where the firm is said to be generating thousands of dollars while residents stay gagged in information sharing.
Scores of residents who spoke to this medium expressed dissatisfaction with the Company’s activities, saying contract agreements between Fajara Mining and the Village Development Committees of Janneh Kunda, Touray Kunda, and Wharftown remain in the shadows for viewing by community members.
They allege that the communities only came to be aware of mining activities when the equipment arrived at the site located on the hilltops between Kaur Janneh Kunda and Sarre Alpha Sanna.
A concerned citizen of Kaur who prefers anonymity disclosed that Fajara Mining has been extracting heavy stones beneath the earth on the hilltop that is ground into different types of pebbles for sale across the sub-region, adding that the Company has been operating the mining quarry since November last year, extracting heavy stones usually weighing from 100kgs to 509kgs.
Our source added that the VDC Committees of Kaur Janneh Kunda, Touray Kunda, and Wharftown are yet to call any general community meeting concerning their agreement with the mining company, further alleging that each of the VDCs was given D100,000 for the mining activities without the consent of the rest of the community.
Another native conversant with the project said the processed stones are usually transported to Dakar and Ivory Coast for sale, saying such rocks are hard to find in the sub-region and, therefore, expensive for local buyers.
He disclosed that up to date, neither the Company nor the VDCs of the communities of Kaur have revealed how much the Company pays into the villagers’ accounts, arguing that any agreement entered into without the consent of the communities is null and void.
The Kaur resident cautioned the Fajara mining company to stop enticing VDCs of Kaur with handouts meant to win their hearts, revealing that the Company recently donated a milling machine and sets of football jerseys to gain total approval from the villagers.
TAT spoke with one Bangally Sissoho, an official of Fajara Mining Company, to shed light on their mining activities at Kaur, but he declined to comment on the matter.
Similar efforts were made to get the views of the Alkalos of Kaur Janneh Kunda, Touray Kunda, and Wharftown, including the Governor of the region and Kuntaur Area Council, and both officials failed to reveal the agreement struck between the VDCs and Fajara Mining Company.