About 500 protesters invaded the Acacia Mining operated North Mara Goldmine in the Tarime District of the Mara Region of Tanzania, last week, with 66 being arrested by police. Many of the protesters were armed with spears, machetes, and other traditional weapons, and a number of both police and protesters were injured in clashes at the site. The protesters were demanding compensation for the loss of artisanal mining rights, which were exercised at the site until it was acquired by Barrick Gold (now succeeded by Acacia Mines) in 2002, and to pollution from the site which has allegedly affected local farms.
Protesters at the North Mara Goldmine in Tanzania last week. Global Publishers.
The protests at the mine appear likely to be related to an ongoing dispute between Acacia Mining and the Government of Tanzania, which accuses the company of under-reporting profits and tax-evasion, and which has suspended exports of gold and copper from the country until such time as the dispute is settled. While the Tanzanian Government does not currently dispute the company's right to the site, or endorse the actions of the actions of the protesters, it is likely that the dispute with the government has encouraged the resumption of protests which have intermittently troubled the site.
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