The Geological Department, Ministry of Petroleum and Energy recognizes the importance of the geosciences in underpinning national sustainable development, economic growth, environmental protection, and enhancement of the quality of life. The Department endeavours to continuously generate, collect, store and archive relevant geoscientific data, and disseminate data and information in a user-friendly way to government, private sector, and the public at large.
The functions of the Geological Department are as follows;
- To initiate, promote, coordinate, implement and evaluate all geoscientific programs pertaining to mineral exploration and development in the Country;
- To collect, store and disseminate information relating to the geological and mineral resources in The Gambia;
- Participate in environmental studies which have reference to geological processes, e.g. coastal erosion, landfill site studies and land reclamation;
- Identify, monitor and manage all mining and quarrying sites including sand, gravel and other construction materials;
- Provide information and technical assistance to government institutions, consultants and the general public on matters pertaining to geology, geophysics and hydrogeology. Such information is relevant for major civil engineering projects, land use planning, underground water exploitation, environmental management, health and agricultural projects; and
- To collaborate with the Commissioner of Petroleum Exploration and Production on petroleum exploration and production matters.
Legal framework and Policy
The Geological Department, being the custodian of the Mines and Quarries Act, regulates the extraction of the mineral resources of the country. Section 4(2) of the Mines & Quarries Act, (2005) clearly stipulates that all mineral resources belong to the state. Section 113 of the Act provides for environmental protection in the activity in accordance with the provisions of the National Environment Management Act (NEMA), 1994. Section 115 of the Mines & Quarries Act provides for the development of Regulations by the Minister responsible for Mineral Resources in order to give a better effect to the Act.
Our legislation is consistent with the ECOWAS Directive on the Harmonization of Guiding Principles and Policies in the Mining Sector and the ECOWAS Mineral Development Policy. The Gambia with the other ECOWAS Member States are committed to promoting the development of an efficient Mineral Sector in the region.