FIVE village councils in Mara Region in Tanzania have filed a commercial suit before the High Court at Mwanza District Registry against North Mara Gold Mine Limited, which is operated by Acacia Mining Limited, demanding over 53bn/- being outstanding balance in royalty fees.
The villages, or the plaintiffs in the matter, include: Nyamwaga Village Council, Kerende Village Council, Kewanja Village Council, Nyangoto Village Council and Genkuru Village Council, all located within Tarime District in Mara Region.
They jointly and severally claim from North Mara Gold Mine Limited, formerly East Africa Gold Mines Limited, as defendant, for payment of 26,786,250.30 US dollars due from July 2002 to December 2011, plus interest at commercial bank rate of 21 per cent from January 2012 to the date of judgment.
The case has been set for hearing on June 27, before Judge Sirilius Matupa. It is alleged that between August 24 and September 8, 1995, the villages and East Africa Gold Mines Limited separately entered into agreement whereby the plaintiffs surrendered various mineral prospecting licences to defendant.
In return, according to the suit lodged by Advocate Joseph Rutabingwa, among the benefits and consideration, the defendant undertook to pay a royalty equal to the value of one per cent of all gold produced calcu lated at London spot price at the governing rate of US dollars.
According the agreements, the said payments were to be effected to the plaintiffs quarterly in cash calculated on the last day of a respective quarter. Following the actual commencement of mining and production of gold from 2002 to December 2011, the actual gold produced was 2,114,701 ounces.
It is further stated that such production was in relation to the findings by the appointed agent, M/S KPMG Certified Public Accountants. As per the computation, the royalty share out of the entire gold produced was 21,147.02 ounces.