* Acacia shares have tumbled by 40 pct since Wednesday
* Says govt findings contain "significant discrepancies"
By Zandi Shabalala
LONDON, May 26 Acacia Mining hit back
at the Tanzanian government on Friday, describing the state's
audit of the company's gold and copper ore as inaccurate and
saying it would consider its options in the East African state.
The government's fraught relationship with the mining
sector, having banned the export of all unprocessed ore in
March, reached a nadir this week when Tanzania President John
Magufuli sacked the mining minister and the chief of the
state-run mineral audit agency on Wednesday.
That followed an investigation that Magufuli said had found
10 times more gold in Acacia's containers than the company had
declared, as well as undeclared minerals such as iron and
"We do not understand the findings of the (investigation)
committee and believe that they contain significant
discrepancies compared to all previous data analysed," Acacia
said in a statement on Friday.
Magufuli, nicknamed The Bulldozer for his propensity to push
projects through, launched a crackdown on corruption shortly
after taking office in 2015.
Acacia's shares have plunged nearly 40 percent since
Wednesday. They clawed back a little of that on Friday, gaining
1.9 percent to 271 pence by 1303 GMT.
The company, majority owned by Barrick Gold and
Tanzania's biggest gold miner, said that it would consider its
options after its latest problems in Tanzania.
Acacia said that the 250,000 ounces of gold that the audit
was said to have found in containers from its Bulyanhulu and
Buzwagi mines implied that the two operations produced 1.5
million ounces of gold a year, which would make them the two
largest producers in the world.
The company also said it does not receive revenue for the
other minerals the audit said it had failed to declare.
(Editing by David Goodman)