DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Acacia Mining Plc must halt waste water pollution at its North Mara gold mine in Tanzania by March 30 or the facility will be shut down, the country’s mining minister said on Friday.
Doto Biteko said Acacia needs to stop contaminated water seeping from a waste storage dam at the mine to nearby communities in the country’s north.
“The life of even one Tanzanian is worth more than their gold mining activities,” Biteko told Reuters. Acacia Mining said it had stopped a temporary overspill at the mine, blaming vandals for destroying sections of the pipe it uses to move waste water.
“The mine has undertaken to manage all seepage through the use of additional pumps and construction of other containment facilities,” it said in a statement.
The mine has been flagged by the chief executive of Barrick Gold, Acacia’s majority shareholder, as a possible “tier 1” asset, meaning it is low cost, large and has a remaining life of more than 10 years.