Acacia halts North Mara gold processing over leak

Tuesday August 20 2019

A miner inside the Bulyanhulu gold mine in northern Tanzania. PHOTO | FILE

A miner inside Bulyanhulu gold mine in northern Tanzania. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

BEATRICE MATERU
By BEATRICE MATERU
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Acacia mining has ceased operations in its North Mara gold mine in Tanzania following a prohibition notice to stop using its tailings storage facility from the National Environment Management Council.

Despite receiving export permits from the Tanzania Mining Commission and the Ministry of Minerals last week, “All gold production at the processing plant at North Mara has been forced to cease since the NEMC Prohibition Notice came to effect,” noted the troubled mining firm in a statement last week.

The notice on July 20 2019, said the mine had failed to contain and prevent seepage from its tailings storage facility and will not operate until the NEMC is satisfied with measures to contain it.

“Production at the plant will not resume until the Notice is lifted,” Acacia said.

Raw mining at the North Mara Gold Mine is, however, unaffected for the time being with mined ore being stockpiled.

Meanwhile, Acacia has resumed the export of gold from North Mara.

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“With the gold export permit, the company will be able to meet its financial obligations for an extended period of time,” said Acacia.

During the first quarter, the North Mara mine saw April gold production rise to 33,941 ounces, 54 per cent above the monthly average production.

The increase was due to successful implementation of a revised mining plan at the mine.

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