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Acacia Mining says senior manager of its Tanzanian businesses arrested and charged by corruption bureau

The miner said it believes that the senior manager has been charged as an additional accused to some - but not all - of the 39 criminal charges brought by the PCCB on 17 October against a current employee and a former employee of Acacia group companies
Tanzania map
The FTSE 250-listed firm said the senior manager - a Tanzanian national - has pleaded not guilty to all charges

Acacia Mining PLC (LON:ACA) said that a senior manager of its Tanzanian businesses has been arrested and charged on Tuesday by the Tanzanian Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB). 

In a statement, the FTSE 250-listed gold miner said the senior manager - a Tanzanian national - has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

READ: Acacia Mining 'deeply concerned' about turn of events in Tanzania

The company said it believes that the senior manager has been charged as an additional accused to some - but not all - of the 39 criminal charges brought by the PCCB on 17 October against a current employee and a former employee of Acacia group companies, as well as Pangea Minerals Limited, Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Limited, and North Mara Gold Mine Limited. 

It added: “We understand that he has been charged with various counts of tax evasion, forgery and money laundering, but have not yet seen a copy of the charge sheet.

“The Company notes again with concern that offences under the Tanzanian Anti-Money Laundering Act are not bailable and, accordingly, the senior manager charged today has not been released on bail.”

Significant escalation of governmental pressure

The group said: “Acacia is deeply concerned about the increasing risks to the safety and security of its people given the criminal charges being brought by the Government of Tanzania (GoT). 

“The Company believes that these recent actions represent a significant escalation of governmental pressure, as the Company’s 19-month dispute with the GoT remains unresolved and as the discussions between Barrick Gold Corporation and the GoT have not yet been concluded.” 

Acacia noted that, as has previously announced, senior officials from the PCCB have recently been reported in Tanzanian media to have stated that the current arrests and charges form part of their “ongoing investigation into natural resources exploitation” and as part of the “war that the government is waging in the Minerals sector”. 

Acacia said it is committed “to running its business to the highest ethical standards and is taking these matters extremely seriously.”

The company said it is continuing to reach out to the GoT to seek the opportunity for direct dialogue regarding the ongoing disputes between the GoT, the company and the broader Acacia Group.

READ: Acacia seeks 'further clarity' over proposed merger of Barrick Gold and Randgold Resources

It said it has also advised Barrick of these latest charges and is seeking to understand the Canadian group’s proposals for the next steps in its direct discussions with the GoT, in which the company is not directly involved.   

Acacia Mining said it will provide further updates in due course.

In late afternoon trading, after a turn lower, Acacia Mining shares bobbed 1.1% higher to 148.10p.

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