Tanzania’s government accused Acacia Mining Plc of operating illegally in the East African country and said mining companies have been evading taxes. Acacia’s shares slumped.
“The committee has established that Acacia Mining Plc has been conducting its mining business here in Tanzania contrary to the law,” Nehemiah Osoro, chairman of a committee ordered by President John Magufuli to conduct an audit of mineral exports over the past 19 years, said Monday in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.
Acacia’s shares dropped as much as 14 percent and traded 5.2 percent lower at 284.60 pence by 9:04 a.m. in London. The company, which is majority owned by Barrick Gold Corp., said in an earlier statement that it has “fully cooperated” with the audit committee’s work.
The occasion is now broadcasted live by radios, televi-sion, social media platforms and State House official website.
The probe team that is chaired by Prof Nehemiah Ossoro was formed by the president to estab-lish the amount and value of min-eral sand technically known as copper concentrate exported since 1998.
The second report comes hardly two weeks after the first report by the probe team of geologists and mineral experts led by Prof Abdulkarim Mruma which showed that mining companies were under declaring the amount of taxable minerals in the mineral sand exported for smelting.
The damning report cost Prof Sospeter Muhongo his ministe-rial job after President Magufuli sacked him from the energy and minerals portfolio.
The head of State also sus-pended Tanzania Minerals Audit Agency (TMAA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Eng Dominic Rwekaza and dissolved its Ministerial Advisory Board (MAB).
In the first report released by Prof Mruma’s team, it was revealed that the country was losing billions of shillings in revenue from thieving practices by the mining companies.
It was noted that the amount of gold per tonne found in the mineral sand, according to the report, was between 671 - 2,775 grams, translating to between 7.8 tonnes to 13.16 tonnes for all 277 containers that the government detained at the Dar es Salaam Port.
Prof Mruma’s team worked on 277 containers prevented from being ferried abroad for smelting.
Each container weighed between 20 and 23.1 tonnes.