ACACIA MINING SHOULD BE MORE TRANSPARENT TO TANZANIANS

TANZANIA ORDERS AUDIT OF MINING COMPANIES’ EARNINGS OVER TAXES

Dar res Salaam, Tanzania – 30th March, 2017:

A stop order issued by Tanzania Government on March 3rd 2017 barring mining companies to export copper concentrates for smelting outside the country has significantly exposed Acacia, which exports the stuff from Buzwagi and Bulyanhulu mining projects.
 
Acacia statement opens a can of worms.

On March 15th 2017 Acacia Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Brad Gordon responded officially pertaining to the Government order. The CEO is quoted expressing jittery for Acacia incurring loss of US$17 million (Tzs. 37 billion) in just two weeks of executing Government stop order. 

He is concerned if the stop order is maintained Acacia may fail to continue running operations because export of copper concentrates accounts for 50 percent of Acacia earnings from Buzwagi and Bulyanhulu mining projects. 

This statement exposes the vital information not previously disclosed to Tanzania Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (TEITI). Actually, it opens a can of worms. Acacia is TEITI member with obligation to correctly disclose material production and Government payments information pertaining to its mining operations in Tanzania.
 
But reading Acacia statement we note the implication that Acacia had since TEITI launch (2009) disclosed only half the production and payments value data from Buzwagi and Bulyanhulu mining projects. 

And this sends bad signal to TEITI because it discounts material information and data compiled and published in the successive annual reports since 2011. 

The credibility of TEITI reports’ data and integrity of entire EITI work in Tanzania is exposed to irreparable risk if corrective remedies are not done in real time. Acacia has the obligation and should therefore come out immediately to patch up the anomaly.   
 
Acacia statement exposes a gap in the TEITI reports.

The quantity of gold or money value declared as having been produced or earned by Acacia and therefore payments made to government in the form of royalties, taxes, fees, levies, duties and statutory contributions should be correctly captured and documented in the TEITI reports. 

However, that may not be the case when we evaluate inherent logic exposed by Acacia statement. The payment data documented in the TEITI reports from Pangea Minerals Ltd (Buzwagi) and Bulyanhulu only present half the story. 

None of the six TEITI reports (2008/09 – 2013/14), has documented either quantity or value of copper concentrates, which according to Acacia, account for 50 percent of Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi revenue combined.
The documented evidence available at TEITI indicates during the 2012/13 fiscal year:
Pangea Minerals Ltd (Buzwagi goldmine) produced 205,240 ounces of gold worth Tzs. 520.9 billion (US$328,025,425)
Bulyanhulu goldmine produced 197,571 ounces of gold worth Tzs. 477.1 billion (US$300,413,402)
(TEITI Report 5th, 2015:11). 

Again, the data documented during the subsequent fiscal year show no difference. Bulyanhulu is recorded to have produced 192,550 ounces of gold worth Tzs. 430.5 billion (US$265,884,907) while Pangea Minerals (Buzwagi) produced 198,995 ounces of gold worth Tzs. 384,539,239,000 (US$237,516,516) (TEITI Report 6th, 2015:10). 

Not only are the quantity and value of copper concentrates exported from Buzwagi and Bulyanhulu missing from the duo fiscal years’ TEITI reports, but also are entirely not documented in the previous four reports.
 
There is one more controversial issue, which previously, Acacia hadn’t disclosed yet, but it is implied in the statement. The statement underscores that Acacia exports (sells) copper concentrates to foreign buyers rather than sending the stuff for smelting outside the country where appropriate technology is available. 

This means the ownership title of copper concentrates changes from Acacia to a foreign buyer immediately the stuffs are exported. This notion is new to Tanzanians, who hitherto held common knowledge that Acacia sends copper concentrates to foreign countries with appropriate technology for smelting the stuff, which whatsoever, wouldn’t involve ownership title transfer from Acacia to a foreign entity. 

That being the case, Acacia would be expected to report such significant transaction to TEITI because copper concentrates and gold are materially different. The local media quoting persons involved in the export of copper concentrates from the Tanzania Mineral Audit Agency (TMAA), Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and Acacia officials estimate 50,000 [8ft (2.43m) x 8.5ft (2.59m) x 40ft (12.2m)] containers of copper concentrates have had been shipped annually.    
 
Our Position and recommendations
The Coalition of Tanzania Civil Society Members of global EITI Association (TEICS) considers the amount of money raised from export of copper concentrate but Acacia hadn’t reported to TEITI for public scrutiny is significant enough to alter both TEITI reports and Government records of payment received from Acacia. 

Disclosure of these payments is even more urgent than ever considering Acacia nonpayment of Corporate Income Tax (CIT) since the company started (1998) operating in Tanzania up to 2016, on the ground that the company is still recuperating losses incurred during the investment startup phase.
         
We, TEICS, recommend and call upon:-
 
1.     That Acacia should disclose all details related to quantity and proceeds obtained from exports of copper concentrates since 2001 to 2017. Data presentation should comply with the EITI recommended pattern of data disaggregation – project by project and year by year – to allow and facilitate ease use by TEITI and Government.

2.     That TETI Committee should immediately start retrospective review and upscale all previous TEITI reports’ data to accommodate significant material information disclosed by Acacia reflecting proceeds from annual exports of copper concentrates.
 
3.     That the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania should assume leadership to evaluate the Mineral Development Agreement (MDAs) entered with Acacia to establish parties’ consistency and compliance with agreed terms therein, and thereafter, in consultation with Acacia, correct inconsistencies in the MDAs, if any, and ensure Acacia repays all the unpaid royalties, taxes, fees, levies, duties and statutory contributions resulting from exports of copper concentrates for entire period effectively from 2001 to 2017.    
 
4.     That the media should follow up and report to public about the actions taken by Acacia, TEITI Committee and the Government to correct the anomaly caused by Acacia not disclosing copper concentrates export business to TEITI and Government.
  
Issued and signed on behalf of TEICS members today, 30th March 2017.

Found on Issa Michuzi site and presented here by Samantha Cole of Tanzania Business Ethics.

IS TANZANIA GOLD MINING NOW CONTROLLED BY A “MAFIA” FROM CANADA & UNITED KINGDOM?

By Samantha Cole of Tanzania Business Ethics

An open letter to President Dr. J.P. Magufuli, Chief Secretary, Attorney General, Minister of Minerals, TRA, and Canadian Prime Minister J. Trudeau and UK Prime Minister T. May, and Ministers and Ambassadors in both countries

Yesterday (Thursday, 23.03.2017) President Magufuli made a surprise visit to the Dar Es Salaam port.  He knew EXACTLY what he was looking for.  Even that the port officials tried to lead him in all directions “to inspect”, JPM knew that there were containers filled with gold mining ore “sand” waiting to be exported AGAINST his clear instructions about 3 weeks ago that there is a BAN on the export of the gold ore sand.   JPM found the containers.  All 20 containers.  All filled with ore sand. All ready in the port to export against the law of the ban. 
Our sources at the port tell us that a 40 ft container can hold a maximum of about 26,000 kg’s.  Total ore sand that JPM found is over a half million kgs.  How much export taxes and royalties in Tanzania losing from those 20 containers.

20 containers

Once again, our President, Dr. Magufuli has shown the Tanzania People that the days of CORRUPTION and FRAUD are over.  TUMECHOKA!!   Tanzania again salutes our President for teaching us the new ways of the new Tanzania.  We praise our President for his courage and determination to stand up tall against anyone and everyone who will not keep the laws of our country.

In the picture above, you see the President’s group in front of the 20 containers!  The mining company is BUSTED!!  Which mining company was it?  Here are the facts, you can decide!

On Saturday, March 4, 2017, The Citizen published their article “JPM BAN THREATENS 2 GOLD MINES”.  The 2 mines reported in this article are none other than Acacia Mining’s Buzwagi mine and also Bulyanhulu mine.

It is common knowledge that the mining companies, Shanta Gold and AngloGold Ashanti exports nuggets and not ore sand like Acacia Mining does.  There is only one company who has exported their ore sand for many years from Tanzania and who can generate such masses of ore sand like the half a million kgs in these 20 containers that JPM “caught red handed” in the port waiting for export COMPLETELY AGAINST the current ban!

Aliyoyakuta Rais Magufuli alipofanya Ziara ya kushtukiza Bandarini Dar.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDDWGRjaq-k&list=PLbg3GhtrbUovae914wLZTTput3W8ZADbN&index=1

President Magufuli and other Honored Recipients: 
One MUST ask who is responsible for this underhanded, illegal and mafia-style attempt to export 20 containers (or more) of gold mining ore sand? And the answer is obviously the CEO of the mining company and his subordinates who carried out his orders completely against the law.  Logic says that these individuals should be arrested and prosecuted for these crimes.  After all, if they are not prosecuted, what message is sent to our Nation of 55 million people?

If our sources in the Dar Es Salaam port are correct, and these containers are definitely from Acacia Mining, then Brad Gordon and his local team in Dar are all responsible and should be prosecuted without delay.  Maybe the Acacia team in London also?  We don’t know the law.  Maybe even the Chairman of the Acacia Mining Board, Kelvin Dushnisky?

Are we surprised?  Should we be surprised?  If the culprit is the CEO, Brad Gordon, then these mafia-style operations are definitely no surprise.  In July 2016, we wrote a research report about Brad Gordon’s failures and his immoral and maybe even criminal background. As an example fully reported in the media:

In March 2013, the media exposed a report of Brad Gordon (at that time, the CEO of Emporer Mines) intimidating the Intrepid partner (at that time), Mr. Paul Willis, and forced him into signing a release for his rights to their project  in Indonesia. The report stated that Mr. Willis was outnumbered nine-to-one, including Intrepid CEO, Brad Gordon, and legal counsel Vanessa Chidrawi and six locals, armed with revolvers in holsters.
The Business Day claims they obtained an email to show how Intrepid conspired with the local partners to squeeze Paul Willis out of the venture. 

For more information, here is the link to our research report:
https://tanzaniabusinessethics.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/will-acacia-minings-honeymoon-with-the-gold-price-be-short-lived/

So Brad Gordon is no stranger to mafia–style business.  Revolvers? Intimidation? Conspiracy? Corruption? Fraud? Tax evasion? Transfer Pricing?  Can anyone blame our Government for refusing to deal now with this man?  Is there no shame at all in the Barrick Gold and Acacia Mining offices in Canada and England?

How many years have Acacia Mining been exporting these containers of gold mining ore sand?  How many hundreds or thousands of containers over the past 10 or 15 or more years?  If these 20 containers seized at the port hold over half a million kgs of this ore sand, how many hundreds of millions (or dare we write billions) of kgs of this ore sand did they export?  How many hundreds of millions of US Dollars have been deprived from our country?  How many schools and clinics and water supply lines and sewerage systems and power stations and bridges and roads and all the other basic needs that any country deserves?

President Magufuli and other Honored Recipients: 
The biggest slap in the face to our country, is Acacia Mining’s latest attempt (yesterday) to mobilize worldwide support AGAINST our great President, Dr. Magufuli.  Reports in the UK Telegraph, Reuters, NasDaq, Guardian, Financial Times and many others, in which they complain about losing US$1 million every day due to the export ban of the gold mining ore sand.

Is it Tanzania’s fault that for so many years, Acacia have exported the gold mining ore sand overseas and NEVER sent back the royalties for the gold extracted from that ore sand?  Why did Barrick Gold steal the gold from us that was camouflaged as ore sand and keep all the monies for themselves without paying our small export royalties?

The Telegraph suggests that our President’s agenda to ban the export of the gold mining ore sand may be “to help it develop a domestic smelting industry”.   They continue to write “previous studies have suggested that such an industry would struggle to compete with rival countries, while experts believe it could take a minimum of five years to build the necessary infrastructure.  During April we will reassess how long we can continue to produce as normal if the ban remains in place and what other measures may be necessary,” the company said.

Is this Acacia Mining’s way to scare our President?  Are they subtly send negative messages to scare off potential overseas investors looking at Tanzania?  Is this their way to try and belittle our President in the eyes of world leaders?  What will Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau and Theresa May comment to our President if they meet and this subject comes up in discussion?
How can they justify to our President that their countrymen’s attempted illegal exports under an official ban is acceptable?
And can they say that their countrymen’s tax evasion is OK by Canada or British standards?
And the corruption and fraud?
Shall we continue?
Even we simple Tanzanian’s understand the picture of what Barrick Gold and Acacia Mining are trying to manipulate here in our country and to damage world opinion of Tanzania.

But we have a new Sheriff in town and he is not falling for any of this.  Last year, our “Sheriff” publicly told overseas gold mining companies to “go home” if they complain they cannot make profits here and pay their taxes fairly.  On Thursday, whilst at the port, standing by the 20 containers seized before export, he said again that it’s by far better to stop mining gold here until Tanzania acquires the necessary knowledge to mine, instead of being crooked (referring to the non-payment of export taxes).

The People of Tanzania stand behind our “Sheriff”, President Magafuli, and we are confident that he will lead us to a better quality future.

God bless President Magufuli and God bless Tanzania and our Nation.