Africa Mining: Barrick’s Acacia Mining gets involved in Tanzania dispute

Acacia in Tanzania

Keeping the lights on, for now: Operations at Bulyanhulu could be suspended as the export ban in Tanzania bites

Barrick Gold (CN:ABX) chairman John Thornton met with Tanzanian president John Magufuli on Wednesday to discuss the issues surrounding Acacia Mining (LN:ACA) however the outcome of the meeting is unclear, the Mining Journal reports.

Magufuli’s office told Bloomberg that Barrick, the majority shareholder of gold miner Acacia which has been accused of having no right to operate and failing to pay billions of dollars in taxes, was “ready to pay all the money it’s expected to pay Tanzania”.

However Barrick made no reference to payments in its statement following the meeting.

“The meeting was constructive and open, with the parties agreeing to enter into negotiations to seek a resolution that is in the best interests of all stakeholders, including Tanzania, Barrick and Acacia,” Barrick said.

In a series of market updates, Acacia yesterday confirmed Barrick had agreed to commence negotiations with the government.

“As the negotiations have yet to commence, no agreements have been reached, but the negotiations will seek a resolution that is in the best interest of all shareholders,” Acacia said.

The company maintains it has always declared all materials produced and paid all royalties and taxes that were due, which is contrary to accusations from Tanzanian officials.

Acacia said the continuing export ban was impacting about 50% of its combined production from its Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi mines and was threatening the viability of its Tanzanian operations.

“The security of the 36,200 indirect and induced jobs that rely on Acacia’s mining operations, as well as the company’s ability to invest in education, infrastructure and health projects will all be under threat,” the company said.(source: MiningJournal)

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