Sustainable solutions in offing to eliminate Barrick North Mara intrusions

By Lake Zone Watch Writer

Newly appointed Mara Regional Commissioner (RC), Col. Evans Mtambi has issued a stern warning to gangs of people involved in the frequent intrusions of North Mara Gold Mine searching for gold, saying the habit should stop immediately.

The RC gave the order yesterday shortly after making his first familiarization tour of the gold mine which is jointly operated by Barrick Gold and the government of Tanzania through Twiga Minerals Corporation.

He said the government is already working on sustainable solutions to curb frequent intrusions of the gold mine.

“I urge the youth living in the surrounding villages to behave well and stop causing chaos. Give the government time to come up with sustainable solutions,” Col Mtambi underscored.

He said it was not impressive seeing the youth armed with traditional weapons including machetes, invading the gold mine and at times engaging in confrontation with police officers.

“This is very bad to say the least, “ the new regional chief said, describing Barrick North Mara as a mega project with multiple benefits not only to the local communities but also to the nation as a whole.

The government has in place some short- term and long-term strategies to eliminate intrusions at the gold mine, the RC said, without going into detail.

However, he warned that the government would not hesitate to take actions against those who will not heed its order.

“We would not like to use force, but if the intruders won’t change, what shall we do? Let me make it clear that the government has options at its disposal,” he insisted.

He further warned that any further acts of intrusions at the gold mine might frustrate ongoing efforts to find sustainable solutions.

Meanwhile, RC Mtambi has hailed the giant mining company for continuing to invest heavily in community development projects in areas surrounding the gold mine and other parts of the country.

“I can see you have done a very good job in the community. Billions have been injected into development projects, I thank you and please keep it up, “ he remarked after getting a detailed presentation on the gold mine’s activities from Barrick North Mara General Manager(GM) , Apolinary Lyambiko .

In his presentation, the GM cited frequent intrusions, land speculations and illegal mining as some of the pressing issues facing the gold mine operations .

Lyambiko said the gold mine has been doing everything possible to minimize or even solve completely, the challenges faced by involving various actors including community leaders.

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