The Minister of Minerals, Doto Biteko has directed one of Acacia mines’ -North Mara Gold mine to contain leakage of seepage from penetrating to the reach of residences of small communities around the mine by March 30th, 2019.
Failure to do so, the gold mine will be closed, warned the minister when he made a visit to the mine on Tuesday.
The minister ordered the mine administration to ensure that the leakages of water from the gold mine to people`s residential areas to end as soon as possible. `The deadline is March 30, and if nothing happens by that deadline, then the government will not hesitate to close the mine. ` reiterated Minister Biteko. He stated that the government cannot tolerate leakages of water containing harmful substances flowing out of the mine and putting the health of local communities at risk, remarking that life of every citizen is very fundamental to the government.
In September 2018, President John Magufuli directed the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC) to conduct an investigation on the leakage of toxic water from the mine for pollution that threatens biodiversity and human health. The directive came in the wake of complaints from the residents some years back that environment impact assessment at the mine had not been observed after water was discovered to contain toxic chemicals harmful to both humans and animals.
The president asserted that a number of villagers in the region surrounding the mine had been affected by toxic water emanating from the mine even as NEMC established that there were no harmful chemicals in their previous report.
North Mara Gold Mine is a combined open pit and underground gold mine in the Tarime District of the Mara Region of northern Tanzania. It is one of three gold mines Acacia Mining plc, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange, operates in Tanzania, the other two being Bulyanhulu and the Buzwagi Gold Mine.