Let’s call a spade a spade!
The “Mining Bad Boy” of Tanzania, Acacia Mining, owned 63.9% by “Mining Bigger Bad Boy”, Barrick Gold, has its few moments of goodwill whilst in parallel, they cause grief and anguish in Tanzania.
The apple does not fall far from the tree because Acacia Mining’s parent company, Barrick Gold, reek havoc and misery wherever they go in the world.
Since Tanzanian’s are know as a gentle, docile and kind Nation, let’s first enjoy the moment of good Karma and talk about Acacia Mining’s moment of goodwill and kindness – and let’s enjoy it and savour it because so sadly there are too few of these moments!
One of our info contributors from the city of Kahama sent us information that recently, the residents started to see the start of the “one moment of kindness” towards Tanzania on the part of Acacia Mining.
About a week ago, as also reported in the media, they saw the start of the initial stages of Acacia Mining’s campaign to fund the planting of 1,600,000 trees! Yes, you read correctly! Acacia are funding a campaign to plant 1,6 million trees and the first stage of a half a million trees started in and around the city of Kahama, located about 10 km’s from Acacia’s Buzwagi mine, in the Kahama district, near to Shinyanga.
This is truly an amazing and generous gesture – especially because Acacia Mining get nothing back for their “investment” into our environment. That is certainly unusual and we have to say a big THANK YOU to Acacia Mining for this.
This is not the first time the Kahama district has received support from Acacia Mining. About a year ago, the Mwendakulima Health Centre, funded and furnished by the Buzwagi mine, went into operation providing basic medical services for the communities around the Acacia mine. Indeed, another thank you albeit to benefit the mines workers as well, which loops the benefit back to Acacia Mining.
However, planting trees benefits our environment and makes our world a better place. Calling a spade a spade, this tree planting campaign is an investment in a league of its own.
On the other side of the coin, we will still call a spade a spade.
Acacia Mining reported plans to spend US$ 2 million to improve their image in Tanzania? Do they not understand that their public reports to their shareholders are far from reality and Tanzanian’s living in and around all the communities of Acacia’s three operating mines live the nightmare of ongoing problems causing chaos and despair at family and community level and God knows what problems our Government have with the blatant unlawful and dishonest ways that Acacia Mining does their business in Tanzania.
The Chairman of Acacia Mining is Kelvin Dushnisky. He is also the President of Barrick Gold. As the “Mining Bad Boy” of Tanzania, should we be surprised at their business methods when quite obviously Barrick Gold pulls the strings and lays down policies for operations in Tanzania. After all, if you compare Barrick Gold’s record of human rights crimes, environment damage, fraud and more in all the overseas countries where Barrick operate, you will see a copy of how Acacia operates in Tanzania. They do the same, with a different name.
And now they are trying to pull Endeavour Mining into a merger so we might get the new CEO, Sébastien de Montessus on our Tanzania soil? God help us with his disastrous background record with Areva and UraMin Mining.
He was on Executive Board and Group Deputy CEO of Areva Group and the CEO of Areva Mining, connected to an alleged fraud of billions of dollars (no-one really knows how much). That was some years ago and surely much to the worries of de Montessus, recently the US Government entered the Areva nightmare and instructed the FBI to start a full investigation. Besides the mega-fraud, is a history cancer death, reports of corruption and implicating political figures through alleged bribes, violations of rules at nuclear fuel fabrication plants, disregard of environmental regulations, poisoned air, contaminated soil and polluted water, polluting underground aquifers, aggravating a chronic water shortage, and exposing its employees to uranium contamination, public accusations of funding rebels. Do we need such businessmen in Tanzania?
For more detailed information to see the real bowl of poisoned spaghetti that stands behind Endeavour Mining, please read our January blog about the possible merger between Acacia Mining and Endeavour Mining – God help us!
Moving back to our “Mining Bad Boy” of Tanzania, another of our info contributors shared with us some info about the Acacia Mining North Mara airstrip. By chance, whilst our contributor was talking to workers at North Mara mine, a plane came in to land on the runway. We looked up and found the location – even showing runway number 29 in this link.
The length of the runway is a little over 1 km long.
This reminds us of President Magufuli’s speech towards the end of last year in which he said that some gold mines have private airstrips and the authorities were not able to monitor what the mining company’s planes were transporting from the gold mines out of Tanzania. And the President is correct. Google Earth shows the distance from North Mara’s airstrip to the Kenya border as less than 14 km’s. A plane flies that distance in less time than it takes to make a cup of tea!
We are confident that our President will soon send to Acacia Mining a knock on the door at the airstrip, where they will be disappointed to find a new Customs Office to control who and what comes into and goes out from that airstrip.
The net is closing in!!
Can everyone be wrong about how Tanzania is losing huge amounts of money from these overseas miners ? As an example, about 9 years ago, a Norwegian organization financed an investigative report as where and how our country are losing out in the gold mining sector. So sad that year after year, decade after decade, our gold goes out the country, overseas investors earn hundreds of millions maybe billions of US Dollars and what do we get in direct proportion to those overseas earning? The answer is an embarrassment to our country.
So what has changed all the years down the line?
The answer is : President Magufuli!
Last year, Ami Mpungwe, the Chairman of the Tanzania Chamber of Minerals and Energy (TCME), stood up for the mines and said that the Government benefits directly from royalty payments of 4 or 5 per cent depending on minerals produced which is charged on gross turnover. He also said that as a result of mines that were constructed, rural communities have had access to power and water supplies where there none, thus enabling improvement of the quality of life that prior to the arrival of investors, might have seemed unattainable in rural Tanzania.
Hello? Ami? Obviously you will support the miners. After all, they pay the TCME, so your loyalties lie with them. But in fact, when you so proudly talk about the royalty payments of 4 or 5 per cent, you carefully leave out the most important factor and that is “4 or 5 per cent of what?”.
It is public knowledge that Acacia Mining mix their mining sand. Last year, media reports exposed the exports of Acacia’s mining sand allegedly as fraudulent and at one time, President Magufuli placed a ban on the export of mining sand.
This question of “how is the royalty calculated” will really clarify if the country is truly benefitting from the gold mining. Needless to say, the government mines authorities are studying this subject very carefully so companies like Acacia Mining who are suspected of this “sand mix” problem need to be concerned.
The net is closing in!!
More hurtful to us all is the TCME attitude as to how wonderful is the quality of life for our People in the communities around these mines. Hello? Ami? Where is this wonderful water you talk about? We are researching the water problems and will report soon about this very serious problem for our rural communities. However, we can say to you, Ami Mpungwe, that after you read our research about the water problems, we expect you to resign from the TCME since the world will see how you are totally disconnected from the realities of the mining industry that you are paid “to represent”. Simple as that, Sir!
We continue with our Nation’s ongoing battle to contribute positively towards changing the old reality of why Tanzania, so rich in God-given minerals, is still amongst the 25 poorest countries in the world (according to Business Insider, UK). What is the explanation for this tragedy?
There is still no one single answer to the question.
According to our professors and analysts, the recent decades of weak policies and suspicious mining contracts definitely contributed to the unfavorable situation we find ourselves in.
We all know “where to from here” – hard work, increased public awareness, support for our President and unbreakable determination to drive forward our efforts on behalf of the thousands that encourage us to inspire Barrick Gold & Acacia Mining to fix their mess and operate cleanly, legally and transparently in our country, Tanzania. Solutions come from dialogue and actions, not from US$ 2 million advertising campaigns. 😦