By Samantha Cole of Tanzania Business Ethics

It’s clear Acacia Mining urgently need a change of leadership. Brad Gordon & others must resign.

Anyone walking around Dar es Salaam this past week has heard non-stop talk about Barrick Gold. If anything is the talk of the town this week, it’s Barrick Gold and the deal our President, Dr. J.P. Magufuli, finalized with the Barrick Chairman, Dr. J. Thornton.

Yes, many Tanzanian’s were skeptical during the past few months ago.
Yes, many Tanzanians were suspicious as the weeks and months of silence went past.
After all, does not history repeat itself? In the past, our ex-Presidents usually walked away from discussions giving the ‘cream’ to overseas companies and leaving Tanzania with the crumbs.

But no, this is the NEW TANZANIA and our President is not only the “broom that sweeps clean”, but President JPM is our “bulldozer that cleans everything in front of it”.

Dr. J. Thornton learnt that lesson very quickly. He learnt that Tanzania is no longer the colony to play in. The golden years of earning huge profits overseas and leaving only crumbs here (compared to their profits) are all over. Finished. Past. History.

The Barrick Chairman met President Magufuli in the middle of June this year. For more than FOUR MONTHS Barrick used all their resources and specialists to discuss and negotiate with our Tanzania secret team. After about 18 weeks of these negotiations, the Barrick Chairman obviously realized that the winds of change in Tanzania were too powerful to change and he knew that the time had come to look into the future and work with Tanzania instead of against it (meaning leaving us with the crumbs).

Last week on Thursday, October 19, 2017, Dr. Thornton came back to our President and we all know the results of that meeting; 16% ownership in the 3 mines, 50% share in profits, US$ 300 million cash payment.

At Barrick Gold, the next man under Dr. Thornton comes Kelvin Dushnisky. He is the President of Barrick Gold worldwide. We also know that Mr. Dushnisky is the Chairman of the Acacia Mining Board of Directors. Therefore, not only is Barrick Gold tied into Acacia Mining by owning 63.9% of Acacia, but we also see clearly that even the top management of Barrick and Acacia are tied in together.

Whilst Barrick Gold are praised for moving forwards and looking to the future for better business with Tanzania, our “friends” at Acacia Mining are stuck in the past and fighting the optimism and positive spirit and direction that their mother company is trying to lay out before them. But wait, we have seen something similar to this in the past. And we even wrote about it, before.

Brad Gordon, the CEO of Acacia Mining, is doing his best to damage the deal that Dr. Thornton finalized with President Magufuli. To be honest, we are not surprised. This is almost a perfect repeat of Brad Gordon’s terrible performance as CEO of Intrepid Mining only 4+ years ago.

In fact, on July 14, 2016, we wrote about this exact scandal. Here is the link:

Here is a short extract from the above article (from July 14, 2016):

In March 2013, the media exposed a report of Mr. 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 the Indonesia project. 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.

Reports that the sole reason that the Tujuh Bukit Agreement expired was that Emperor Mines was too busy with the merger with Intrepid Mines and they left it until the last weeks to try and complete documents with the Indonesian’s that at best would have taken 3 months to complete. Intrepid simply left it until too late and “missed the boat” with the Indonesian’s, forcing the deal into crisis.

Reports were clear that Mr. Gordon spent aggressively (almost US$100 million) to prove up the huge scale of Tujuh Bukit without having finalised agreements to secure a direct stake in the project. Another great “achievement” by Mr. Gordon!! Who spends money without finalized agreements?

Why is there no surprise when we see that shortly after everything was exposed in the media, Mr. Gordon has started negotiating secretly with Barrick and only a few months later, in August 2013, Mr. Gordon resigns from Intrepid and walks away from the massive black hole in Indonesia that Mr. Gordon, as CEO, has left Intrepid ??

The good news for Intrepid was that Mr. Gordon had left! 

Only six months later, in February 2014, Chairman Ian McMaster announced Intrepid successfully brings the end of the dispute with the Indonesian’s and a few months later, in June 2014, Intrepid receive US$ 80 million.​

And now, here in Tanzania, we have almost the same depressing picture.
Brad Gordon creates a huge mess in Tanzania via Acacia Mining – guilty of tax evasion, alleged fraud and corruption, falsified exports, and the list goes on. And now the Chairman comes to clean up the mess, much against Brad Gordon’s wishes – causing more problems and a bigger black hole. Mr. Gordon and his top management circle, including Peter Spora, Deo Mwanyika, Charlie Ritchie, Peter Geleta all need to join Brad Gordon in the line handing in their resignations (or if not, be fired). Barrick Gold need to send in new, fresh, honest, mining professionals to start a clean page working with Tanzania as partners.

At least Ambassador Juma V. Mwapachu saw the writing on the wall and a few months ago, in mid-July, he took his bags and ran away from the Acacia Mining Board of Directors. Good move!!

On June 1, 2017, we wrote a public email letter to Dr. Thornton suggesting that the time was right for resignations at Acacia Mining. Here is the link:
Two weeks later, Dr. Thornton was sitting in front of our President at the Ikulu (State House) in Dar es Salaam. 

President Magufuli’s public speech earlier this week was amazing! This is the link:

The speech sends us all the right messages. Amongst many things JPM spoke about, his speech was a call to all us Tanzanians to stand together and work together and build together.

How do we build with negative, damaging and undesirable people like Brad Gordon, Peter Spora, Deo Mwanyika, Charlie Ritchie, Peter Geleta and we are sure Barrick knows who else.

Without a doubt, Gordon and Mwanyika should be the first to go – Gordon needs a new, fresh replacement CEO and Mwanyika needs no replacement as his job as “Mr. Fix-It” in Government offices must definitely fall away. The days to pay our Sisters and Brothers in Government positions to “Fix-It” are all over. As is written above – this is the NEW TANAZANIA.

God Bless President Magufuli
God Bless the Tanzanian People

Tanzania Business Ethics
Samantha Cole



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