London-listed Acacia Mining’s North Mara gold mine, in Tanzania, has received an environmental protection order (EPO) requiring the payment of a fine of $130 000, or TSh300-million.
The EPO was issued in relation to alleged breaches of environmental regulations.
However, the mine has not yet received any supporting reports, findings or testing data in relation to the matters set out in the EPO, Acacia said on Thursday. The miner is currently assessing the technical basis of the alleged noncompliances.
Acacia further stated that while the mine has been verbally directed to build a new tailings storage facility (TSF), it has not yet received any written notices or directives from the Tanzanian government.
“The mine has already recognised the need for additional tailings management and storage capacity to meet its life-of-mine plans and, while the mine does not yet have detailed or fully costed plans or project schedules for the construction of a new facility, Acacia expects that a new TSF is likely to be an economically viable alternative to further expansions of the existing TSF at the mine,” Acacia said.
The miner also noted that it is waiting for the National Environment Management Council’s (NEMC’s) detailed report, findings and testing data following allegations of finding discharges of hazardous substances at the mine.
The miner believed the reports related to a longstanding and already-known seepage issue at the base of the TSF.
“This seepage remains managed by pumps, which return the water to the TSF and it is, therefore, contained on the mine site, does not flow into the surrounding environment or present a risk of contamination to any public water source,” the miner said.
Operations at the mine remain unaffected.