MAC: Mines and Communities

Tanzanians "invade" African Barrick gold mine

Published by MAC on 2012-11-19
Source: Guardian (Tanzania)

Less than two months ago, two Tanzanian citizens - allegedly searching for gold dust at African Barrick's North Mara mine - were shot dead by police. See: Tanzanian police shoot dead two civilians at conflict-torn gold mine

Then, on 7 November, over 4,000 persons are alleged to have raided the mine in search of "rocks rich in gold".

There have been several such "incidents" in recent years as the UK-listed company, assisted by security forces, has signally failed to respond to local demands for a full measure of equity in the mining operations. 

Reflecting this obduracy, a government official is quoted as saying that, since the mine is surrounded by villages, "it would be better to compensate the people and move them elsewhere and provide them with better houses."

Thousands invade gold mine in Mara

The Guardian (

9 November 2012

More than 4,000 people in Tarime District armed with traditional weapons have raided the North Mara Gold Mine (ABG) with the intention of stealing rocks rich in gold, prompting policemen who were on patrol to use weapons to disperse them, killing one person in the process.

The Tarime and Rorya Special Police Zone commander, Justin Kamugisha, named the person killed by the police during the shooting as Chibwa Ghati Muarembera (20), a resident of Kiwanja Village in Tarime District.

The incident occured on Tuesday between 5.00 and 6.00pm. Kamugisha said two police officers injured in the process as G. 8767 PC. Balthazar and G. 7353 PC George, adding that one of them was in hospital.

Kamugisha also said that seven people were being held in connection with the incident.

“The people were armed to the teeth with traditional weapons,” he said, defending the police act.

He called on the people to have respect for the rule of law and avoid taking matters into their own hands.

Incidents of people attempting to invade the mine for the purpose of stealing gold-laden rocks have been happening frequently. In a previous incident over 800 people invaded the mine.

Meanwhile, Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) District Chairperson, Lucas Ngoto, has called on the government to find a solution quickly to end the problem.

“This time the mine was invaded by over 4000 people whereby one of them was killed while last time over 800 people invaded the mine and 5 people got killed, this is very dangerous, immediate solutions must be sought,” said Ngoto.

He advised that since the mine was surrounded by villages, it would be better to compensate the people and move them elsewhere and provide them with better houses.

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