Acacia’s North Mara mine has received an Environmental Protection Order (EPO) for allegedly breaching environmental regulations in Tanzania.
Subsequently the mine has been fined TZS300-billion (USD130 000). According to Acacia the mine has yet to receive any supporting reports, findings or testing data in relation to the matters set out in the EPO and is currently assessing the technical basis of the alleged non-compliances.
Media reports in Tanzania suggest that the Tanzanian government issued a directive to the mine to construct a new Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) at North Mara. While the mine has been verbally directed to construct a new TSF, the mine has not yet received any written notice or directive from the GoT.
The mine has already recognised the need for additional tailings management and storage capacity to meet its life of mine plans and, while the mine does not yet have detailed or fully costed plans or project schedules for the construction of a new facility, Acacia expects that a new TSF is likely to be an economically viable alternative to further expansions of the existing TSF at the mine.
Acacia also notes the National Environment Management Council’s (NEMC) reported findings regarding discharges of a hazardous substance at the mine. It awaits NEMC’s detailed reports, findings and testing data in relation to this allegation but is not aware of any such discharge.
The mine believes that these reports relate to a long-standing seepage issue at the base of the TSF, which is already well known to NEMC and the GoT. This seepage remains managed by pumps which return the water to the TSF and it is, therefore, contained on the mine site, does not flow into the surrounding environment or present a risk of contamination to any public water source. Operations at the mine remain unaffected.