ACACIA Mining said yesterday it was seeking a stay of international arbitration proceedings, days before a hearing was due to start and two days before a deadline for a buyout proposal by Barrick Gold Corp.
The gold miner has been fighting a bid by majority shareholder Barrick, which Acacia says undervalues it. The deadline for a firm bid from Barrick, which holds 63.9 per cent of Acacia, is Friday.
That deadline is just ahead of Monday’s scheduled start of international arbitration proceedings against the Tanzanian government, with which Acacia has been locked in dispute over a $190 bi llion tax bill.
“If the Tanzanian government agrees to the stay, Acacia would expect the arbitration hearing to be postponed to provide time for the government of Tanzania to complete its settlement discussions with Barrick Gold Corp,” Acacia said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the mining firm has been ordered it to stop using tailing storage facility at its North Mara mine due to failure to contain and prevent seepage.
Acacia said it will request copies from National Environment Management Council of any investigation reports or data on which the notice was based on.
The company’s North Mara mine was previously fined for breaching environmental regulations.
The National Environment Management Council (NEMC) cites the North Mara mine’s failure to contain and prevent seepage from the tailings storage facility (TSF) as grounds for its issuance of the notice.
The notice states that it shall remain effective until such time that NEMC is satisfied that the North Mara mine has taken measures to contain seepage from the TSF.
Acacia’s North Mara mine was issued with an Environmental Protection Order and fine in May 2019 for alleged deficiencies at the TSF.
However, the North Mara mine has never received any supporting reports, findings or technical data in relation to these allegations.
As previously disclosed on 8t h March 2019, the North Mara mine’s technical team has been working constructively and collaboratively with the Government of Tanzania in order to address its concerns regarding alleged breaches of various environmental regulations and alleged discharges from the mine.