Acacia Mining has advised that a senior manager of its Tanzanian businesses, a Tanzanian national, has been arrested and charged.
The individual was arrested and charged by the Tanzanian Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB).
The senior manager has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Acacia Mining believes that the senior manager has been charged as an additional accused to some (but not all) of the 39 criminal charges brought by the PCCB on 17 October against a current employee and a former employee of Acacia group companies, as well as Pangea Minerals, Bulyanhulu Gold Mine and North Mara Gold Mine.
Acacia Mining understands that he has been charged with various counts of tax evasion, forgery and money laundering, but have not yet seen a copy of the charge sheet.
Acacia Mining notes again with concern that offences under the Tanzanian Anti-Money Laundering Act are not bailable and, accordingly, the senior manager charged today has not been released on bail.
Acacia Mining is deeply concerned about the increasing risks to the safety and security of its people given the criminal charges being brought by the Government of Tanzania.
Acacia Mining believes that these recent actions represent a significant escalation of governmental pressure, as the Company’s 19 month dispute with the Government of Tanzania remains unresolved and as the discussions between Barrick Gold Corporation and the Government of Tanzania have not yet been concluded.
As previously advised, Barrick has not yet provided to Acacia Mining a proposal for a comprehensive resolution of the disputes that Barrick has been able to agree in principle with the Government of Tanzania, despite their direct discussions since announcements were made in October 2017.
As Acacia Mining has previously announced, senior officials from the PCCB have recently been reported in Tanzanian media to have stated that the current arrests and charges form part of their “ongoing investigation into natural resources exploitation” and as part of the “war that the government is waging in the Minerals sector”.
Acacia is committed to running its business to the highest ethical standards and is taking these matters extremely seriously.
While Acacia Mining remains of the view that a sustainable negotiated resolution of its disputes with the Government of Tanzania is the preferred outcome, the interests of stakeholders have been protected in the meantime through the contractual arbitrations commenced in respect of the Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi businesses in July 2017 immediately prior to the Government of Tanzania’s introduction of new legislation seeking to prohibit international arbitration of such disputes.
Acacia notes that all of the matters that are the subject of criminal proceedings by the Government of Tanzania relate to matters now being considered in the contractual arbitrations, with the majority relating to the historical structuring and financing of PML, BGML and NMGML dating back as far as 2008, prior to the IPO of the Acacia Group.
These contractual arbitrations have continued through 2018, with the Government of Tanzania participating, including by serving its defence immediately after the filing of the criminal charges over the past two weeks.
Acacia Mining is continuing to reach out to the Government of Tanzania to seek the opportunity for direct dialogue regarding the ongoing disputes between the Government of Tanzania, the company and the broader Acacia Group.
Acacia Mining has also advised Barrick of these latest charges, including the allegations being made by the Government of Tanzania regarding the historical structuring and financing of PML, BGML and NMGML, and is seeking to understand Barrick’s proposals for the next steps in its direct discussions with the Government of Tanzania, in which Acacia Mining is not directly involved.