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February 11, 2015

Acacia settles out of court over six deaths at Tanzania’s North Mara mine

Acacia Mining has agreed to an out of court settlement with villagers over the death of six people at its North Mara mine (Nmgml) in Tanzania in 2008.

Acacia Mining has agreed to an out of court settlement with villagers over the death of six people at its North Mara mine (Nmgml) in Tanzania in 2008.

Acacia will pay an undisclosed amount to twelve villagers, including several who were injured and relatives of the people who died in the incident.

The company, formerly known as African Barrick Gold, was sued by local residents who took their case to the UK’s High Court in 2013.

Locals claimed that North Mara gold mine, the subsidiary of Acacia, did not prevent the use of excessive force by hired police and security, which lead to six deaths and serious injuries, including one man being paralysed by a gun shot.

"The violent incident allegedly involved mine security, as well as local police contracted by the Tanzanian mine."

Initially, the company denied all claims and said that the action took place when villagers tried to invade its open pit mine.

An Acacia Mining spokesman released a statement to the Guardian that said: "The claims were denied by Acacia Mining and Nmgml, and litigation and further claims have been settled out of court."

The violent incident allegedly involved mine security, as well as local police contracted by the Tanzanian mine.

Proceedings were brought against African Barrick Gold and its wholly owned subsidiary North Mara gold mine by law firm Leigh Day in March 2013, on behalf of the villagers.

According to Leigh Day: ‘This was a pre-emptive legal strike by this very powerful company to try and obtain an unfair advantage over our clients."

North Mara gold mine is facing several other allegations, including pollution, human rights abuses and demands for closure.

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