Acacia Mining PLC (LON:ACA) today announced that its local Tanzanian operating subsidiaries, Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Ltd and Pangea Minerals Ltd, will immediately seek a stay of their international arbitration with the Government of Tanzania. If the GoT agrees to the stay, Acacia would expect the arbitration hearing to be postponed to provide time for the GoT to complete its settlement discussions with Barrick Gold Corp. Acacia will continue to support those discussions and remains ready and willing to engage directly with the GoT.
NEMC Prohibition Notice
Acacia also announces that the Tanzanian National Environment Management Council has issued its North Mara mine with a Prohibition Notice which orders the North Mara mine to stop use of its TSF by 6.00am local time Saturday 20 July 2019. NEMC cites the North Mara mine’s failure to contain and prevent seepage from the TSF as grounds for its issuance of the Notice. The Notice states that it shall remain effective until such time that NEMC is satisfied that the North Mara mine has taken measures to contain seepage from the TSF.
Acacia is immediately reaching out to NEMC and to the GoT to seek clarification on the Notice received yesterday, including to request copies of any investigation reports or data upon which the Notice is based.
Acacia’s North Mara mine was issued with an Environmental Protection Order and fine in May 2019 for alleged deficiencies at the TSF. However, the North Mara mine has never received any supporting reports, findings or technical data in relation to these allegations.
As previously disclosed on 8 March 2019, the North Mara mine’s technical team has been working constructively and collaboratively with the GoT in order to address the GoT’s concerns regarding alleged breaches of various environmental regulations and alleged discharges from the mine. The North Mara mine undertook to manage all seepage through the use of additional pumps and construction of other containment facilities to return any seepage to the TSF and ensure it is confined to the mine site. All seepage is and will be contained on the site, does not flow into the surrounding environment or present a risk of contamination to any public water source.
In January 2019, the GoT issued a directive to the North Mara mine to construct a new TSF. The mine commenced planning and design for a new TSF, and has been working with the GoT to progress the construction of a new TSF to support its future mine production plans.
Acacia will provide further updates as required.