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Attempted Break-in At Tanzania's North Mara Mine; 1 Shot

by Nicholas BariyoDow Jones Newswire
September 14th, 2009

Police shot and injured a person at Barrick Gold Corp.'s (ABX) North Mara Gold Mine over the weekend as more than a hundred illegal miners invaded the premises, the communications officer of the mine, Edward Ibabila, told Dow Jones Newswires Monday.

Locals often try to break in when they learn that high-grade ores have been blasted, Ibabila said.

To bolster security, the mine's management took on around 25 paramilitary guards earlier this year. During Saturday's break-in, the guards were overpowered by the stone-throwing miners and it took the intervention of the Mara regional police to contain them.

Gerhard Hermann, production manager at North Mara, said the company may not be able to finish implementing the mine's current 10-year lifespan due to the number of break-ins.

The company had intended to put up an electric fence around the mine but the plan has been hampered by a lack of electricity because the mine isn't connected to the national grid and relies on expensive thermal power generators to run its operations.

According to activists, locals resent the mine because it displaced artisanal gold miners who used to operate in the area before North Mara was opened in 2002.


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