JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – LSE-listed Acacia Mining on Tuesday called for an independent investigation into its resources and finances, following a report by a second Tanzanian Presidential committee, which claimed that the company had underdeclared its revenues and tax payments, “stretching into the tens of billions of dollars”.
“We believe the company and, more importantly, Tanzania would be served best through an independent investigation and a lifting of the export ban until this work is completed,” Acacia said on a microsite created to provide clarity on the export ban and committee findings.
The committee’s report, which was presented to Tanzania’s President Dr John Magufuli on Monday, also claimed that Acacia was shortchanging the government.
Acacia stated, however, that the value of concentrates, as estimated by the committee, was overstated by more than ten times, and that it was impossible to reconcile the findings with more than 20 years of data.
Despite having to face the hostile political environment, the miner said it would continue operating its Bulyanhulu, Buzwagi and North Mara mines, in Tanzania.
“Acacia is a law-abiding company that has always declared all materials it has produced and paid all royalties and taxes that are due. Our mines are permitted under Tanzanian law to sell their fully declared gold/copper concentrate products to overseas customers and to export the concentrates in containers, and they are in full compliance with Tanzanian law and our export permits,” it stated.
Acacia added that its Tanzanian mines were all owned and operated by companies that were legally incorporated and registered in Tanzania – Bulyanhulu Gold Mine, Pangea Minerals and North Mara Gold Mine – which were the special mining licence holders for each of the respective mines.
These companies are indirectly owned by Acacia Mining – a UK incorporated and registered company. “This corporate structure is fully transparent, lawful and is disclosed in our annual report and accounts which are audited to an international standard in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards and which are publicly available,” Acacia said.
The Acacia group holding structure was fully disclosed to the Tanzanian Capital Markets and Securities Authority (CMSA) at the time of Acacia’s cross listing on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange in 2011. The group structure formed part of the information memorandum approved by the CMSA for the cross listing. Since the cross listing, the only change has been the change of Acacia’s name from African Barrick Gold to Acacia Mining.
Further, Acacia highlighted that auditing firm EY has undertaken its fifth yearly analysis of the mining company’s economic contribution in Tanzania, noting that its total direct, indirect and induced economic contribution in Tanzania in 2016 included more than 36 000 jobs, about $339-million of labour income and nearly $724-million of value-added gross domestic product.
In total, including direct, indirect and induced taxes paid by Acacia, its employees, suppliers and other affected businesses, Acacia’s total tax contribution in 2016 was an estimated $215-million.
Acacia also bought $413-million of goods and services from Tanzanian suppliers in 2016.