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Company Response

18 Sep 2018

Acacia Mining

Acacia Mining's response

"Response to a September 2018 MiningWatch Canada Brief entitled “Inequality of Arms” regarding the Community Grievance Process at the North Mara Gold Mine, Tanzania”

...Like many companies, the Mine operates a community grievance process as part of its commitment to corporate social responsibility and respect for human rights.  The Mine’s CGP provides members of its local communities a pathway for raising and seeking redress for minor and major issues which they attribute to the Mine, ranging from dust to livelihoods.  However, the Mine also has chosen to extend the scope of its CGP beyond that of the typical company-based grievance process.   Specifically, the Mine has chosen voluntarily to permit its CGP to receive and consider, in a non-judicial and non-legal way, grievances from its community members regarding the conduct of the Tanzanian State police when engaging in law and order enforcement activities in relation to or, in case of emergencies, on the property of the Mine.

The Mine is following the efforts to establish in Tanzania a State-based oversight body to monitor and ensure accountability of the State’s police force.  For now, however, the Mine’s CGP provides an additional, effective and direct means of access to possible remedies for alleged human rights violations by the State police when trying to control or prevent the dangerous practice of illegal trespassing on the Mine site to steal gold bearing material.  Removing this additional avenue, and leaving genuine victims to seek legal remedies and accountability for the alleged apprehension practices of their own State police force through the United Kingdom’s courts – as MWC apparently would prefer the Mine to do – simply cannot be a better option for members of the Mine’s communities, a sustainable way ahead for Tanzania or in keeping with the Mine’s corporate social responsibilities.

The Mine has invested heavily in seeking to ensure that its voluntary and private CGP is up to the significant challenge of providing an access to remedy for those who claim to have had their human rights violated by police while they themselves were engaging in illegal activities.  The Mine is committed to operating a process that meets the criteria for effective company-led grievance processes set out in United Nations Guiding Principle on Business and Human Rights (“UNGPs”) 31.