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LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - Acacia Mining reported a 15 percent rise in its first-quarter gold production on Thursday but said sales undershot due to a ban on gold and copper exports by Tanzania.
The government halted the export of unprocessed ore on March 3, following President John Magufuli's call for the construction of more gold smelters in the country, Africa's fourth-largest gold producer.
Gold output for the quarter was 219,670 ounces but sales were lower by 34,926 ounces due to the ban, Acacia said in a statement.
However, Tanzania's biggest gold producer stuck to its full-year production targets, as its mines continue to operate normally while negotiations continue with the government.
The export ban reduced cashflow by about $33 million for the quarter and affects sales from two of its three mines, the company said.
Acacia said in February it expects production this year to be between 850,000-900,000 ounces, up from about 830,000 ounces last year. (Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; Editing by Greg Mahlich)