Nine or 10 bodies had been found, he said, as hopes faded for survivors.
The plane, carrying 11 passengers, disappeared on Saturday while flying from Cameroon to Republic of Congo.
One of Australia’s richest men, Ken Talbot, was on board, with five other Australians, and one US, two British and two French nationals.
The group left the Cameroonian capital Yaounde to visit iron ore projects in Yangadou, a remote area of Congo.
Aviation officials say they lost contact with the aircraft one hour after it left Yaounde.
The plane was chartered by Australian mining company Sundance Resources.
“For the moment, between nine and 10 corpses have been retrieved,” Information Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary told a news conference in Yaounde on Monday.
The area they were visiting includes the Mbalam project which straddles Cameroon and Congo – where Sundance Resources is hoping to extract 35m tonnes of iron ore a year.
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had promised to leave “no stone unturned” to help with the search.
Mr Talbot is a non-executive director of Sundance, with an estimated wealth of $840m (£567m), according to BRW business magazine’s latest rich list.