ACACIA Mining is again in trouble after failing to contain effluent from North Mara Gold Mine’s Tailings Storage Facility (TSF). It is feared that the effluent contains chemicals, which is harmful to human health, water sources and livestock. Consequently, the mining company will be obliged to pay a 5.6bn/- fine for environmental pollution.
Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office (Environment and Union) January Makamba and Minerals Minister Doto Biteko imposed the fine on Thursday after visiting the goldmine. The ministers visited TSF and other several locations prone to effluent leakages before taking stern measures. “We have decided to impose the 5.6bn/- fine on the company and it should be paid as soon as possible,” Mr Makamba noted.
Besides the fine, the ministers gave the goldmine a three-week ultimatum to contain the effluent. “We are giving Acacia three weeks to improve the situation. If it fails, TSF licence will be suspended,”Mr Makamba warned.
For his part, Mr Biteko said the government could not tolerate a situation that exposed the lives of citizens living near the goldmine and their livestock to health risks. “We don’t like to punish investors, but the environmental pollution situation is forcing us as poisonous chemicals are polluting the environment and water,” Mr Biteko said.
The 5.6bn/- fine was announced by National Environment Management Council (NEC) Director General, Dr Samuel Gwamaka. “Environmental pollution has been going on for a long time and the goldmine is supposed to be closed.
Acacia fined over 5bn/- for
environmental pollutionIt will pay a fine of 5.6bn/- ,” Dr Gwamaka noted. Early this year, NEMC also fined the goldmine 300m/- for polluting the environment. North Mara is one of the goldmines operated by Acacia Mining in Tanzania. The mine is located in Nyamongo, Tarime District, Mara Region.