Gambia

Geography

The Gambia, commonly known as Gambia, is a very small and narrow country in Western Africa whose borders mirror the meandering Gambia River. The country is less than 48 km wide at its greatest width. Apart from its 80 km coastline, where Gambia borders the North Atlantic Ocean, it is an enclave of Senegal. With a total area of 11,295 km² it is by far the smallest country on mainland Africa. The terrain encompasses the flood plain of the Gambia River flanked by some low hills. 1,295 km² (11.5%) of the Gambia's area is covered by water. The population of The Gambia was estimated at 1,778,081 with a growth rate of 2.59% (2009). The GDP (PPP) in 2008 was US$2.304 billion with a real growth rate of 5.9 %. This dropped to 3.5% in 2009. The GDP per capita was estimated at US$1300 with about a third of the population below the international poverty line. It is an agriculturally rich country (27.9% arable land) and its economy is dominated by farming, fishing, and tourism. Minerals do not make a significant contribution to the economy and there was no reported production in 2008-2009.

Geology

A trans-Senegal-Gambian border titanium–zirconium heavy mineral sands operation, which was commissioned in 2006, was shut down in The Gambia in early 2008. Production figures for 2007 were unavailable. Total resource was estimated at 18.8 Mt containing 1 Mt of heavy minerals (71% ilmenite, 15% zircon and 3% rutile). The country did not produce any hydrocarbons and is dependent on imports of petroleum for its domestic energy requirements.