police guarding waste dump
Police guarding waste dump at Barrick Gold's North Mara mine in Tanzania. Catherine Coumans photo.

In Need of Repair: Acacia Mining’s Grievance Mechanism at North Mara Gold Mine, Tanzania

Catherine Coumans Ph.D., Research Coordinator and Asia-Pacific regional program coordinator.

RAID and MiningWatch Canada have engaged in extensive exchanges with Acacia Mining over the past two years about security and human rights concerns at the North Mara Gold Mine. Our organisations have been critical of the continuing high level of violence at the mine site and the lack of a transparent and effective remedy programme.

In March 2016, RAID and MiningWatch Canada and their legal advisors had a preliminary discussion with Acacia at the company's offices in London. The purpose of the meeting was to clarify the process and procedures of North Mara’s Non-Judicial Grievance Mechanism for the victims of excessive use of force by mine security and police guarding the mine.

In our latest memorandum* - In Need of Repair: Acacia Mining’s Grievance Mechanism at North Mara Gold Mine, Tanzania - RAID and MiningWatch Canada identify a number of problems with the current arrangements:

  • Absence of a comprehensive remedy framework document
  • Lack of clarity about how claims are investigated
  • Lack of clarity about how claims are accepted or rejected
  • Complainants lack access to adequate, independent legal advice
  • Use of legal waivers

RAID and MiningWatch Canada make a number of recommendations on how these problems should be addressed, including:

  • that Acacia promptly make public all documents relevant to the grievance process, so that any interim safeguards necessary to protect the interests of claimants can be introduced without delay, and
  • that Acacia open up a transparent and inclusive process to create a comprehensive rights-compatible remedy framework. If such a consultation process were created, MiningWatch and RAID would participate.

* The memorandum was revised following further communications with Acacia and reposted.