We have nothing to hide, says Acacia amid damning report

Dar es Salaam. Tanzanias leading gold miner, Acacia Mining, has maintained that it declares everything it mines in the country even as a presidential committee reported that it discovered discrepancies in ratios of gold, copper and other minerals in mineral sand held at Dar es Salaam Port.

The committee, which presented its report to President John Magufuli yesterday, reported that it discovered an average of 1,400 grammes of gold per tonne of mineral sand in containers, while the Tanzania Minerals Audit Agency (TMAA) indicated an average of only 200 grammes.

The committee also reported disparities in copper and silver ratios, while no royalty was paid for other compounds like iron, sulphur, rhodium, iridium and lithium despite their being smelted from the concentrate.

The committee stated that Acacia had not fully declared minerals contained in the concentrate, and recommended that the ban on export of metallic mineral concentrates be maintained until the issue was resolved.

But the firm denied any wrongdoing. Acacia reiterates that it fully declares everything of commercial value that we produce and pay all appropriate royalties and taxes on all of the payable minerals that we produce, the company said on its website yesterday.

Acacia earlier said it had cooperated fully with the committee, but its report and findings were not shared before they were presented. In March, President Magufuli directed that 277 containers of metallic mineral concentrates that were set to be shipped out be held at Dar es Salaam Port pending verification of minerals they contained.

Dr Magufuli appointed two committees to investigate the matter. The first committee, made up of academics and industry professionals, investigated contents of the concentrate packed in containers and presented its report to the Head of State yesterday. The second team, which comprises economists and lawyers, focused on the economic impact of exporting the concentrates, but has yet to present its findings.

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