Barrick chief warns of land speculators impacting on NorthMara expansn

20Oct 2021
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Barrick chief warns of land speculators impacting on NorthMara expansn

AN influx of land speculators who have invaded areas surrounding North Mara Gold Mine are threatening expansion plans being mulled by Barrick Gold Corporation through its local subsidiary, Twiga Minerals Corporation.

Deputy minister for Minerals, Prof Shukrani Manya (R), Barrick Africa president and CEO, Mark Bristow (C) and Kahama District Commissioner, Festo Kiswaga, unveil plaque to launch photon assay laboratory for analyzing gold, copper and silver from soil samples using X-rays technology at Bulyanhulu Gold Mine in Kahama district of Shinyanga region last week. Photo: John Badi.

Presenting the third quarter results at Bulyanhulu Mine in Kahama district last week, Barrick Africa President and CEO, Mark Bristow said speculators are pushing out communities in order to profit from compensation which the company will pay as it plans to expand North Mara Gold Mine.

“We have already started doing valuation with Komarera village covering 652 acres of land of which 2,921 land parcels have successfully been valuated,” Bristow said in his presentation at which Deputy Minerals Minister, Professor Shukrani Manya attended.

He said so far, 5,406 affected people in Komarera village have been who constitute of both tenants and landowners with 240 acres of land being acquired in Kewanja village instead of 400 acres. “A valuation report has been submitted to authorities for review and disclosure process with full and final compensation expected in mid October 2021,” he added.

Bristow who is also Board Chairman of Twiga Minerals further noted that some 448 graves at Matongo village have been identified for relocation of which 40 have already been shifted. “Payment for 23 affected people at Komarera has been completed but also for hospital and school relocation,” he revealed while noting that after the 2019 deal with the government, Barrick will invest more because of the good investment environment.

Msalala lawmaker, Idd Juma pleaded with Bristow and Twiga’s management to compensate some residents of his constituency who are had long standing disputes with the mining company over payment.

“I am just requesting you that please pay these people something small so that we can close the case completely because it has taken very long,” Juma said while commending the company for concluding a deal with the state.

He said his constituency which hosts Bulynhulu mine needs good neighbourliness with the mine by ensuring that Msalala residents benefit more from wealth of gold being mined in their neighbourhood.

In remarks at the event, Prof Manya assured Barrick Gold that the government will ensure that its operations process well after concluding the 2019 agreement. “My only advise is that you continue implementing what is contained in the agreement so that Tanzanians should get fair payment from the proceeds,” he said while commending the miner for investing in an ultra-modern gold assay photon laboratory which will enhance transparency.

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