By Beatrice Materu
Tanzanian authorities and Canadian miner, Barrick Gold, say they have worked out a plan to settle the disputes between the government and Acacia Mining Plc.
The announcement followed a meeting between President John Magufuli and Barrick’s chief operating officer for Africa and Middle East, Mr Willem Jacobs, at State House Dar es Salaam on Wednesday.
“Everything is all set, we are now ready to move on,” Tanzania’s Legal Affairs minister, Mr Palamagamba Kabudi, said, adding that the implementation is set to begin before end of March.
London-listed Acacia has been engaged in a longstanding row with Tanzania over tax evasion, breach of environmental regulations, among other issues.
In October 2017, Barrick, which holds a 63.9 percent stake in Acacia, agreed to a $300 million payment to resolve the tax claims, set up a local operating firm in Tanzania, and share Acacia’s economic benefits with the government on a 50-50 basis.
Acacia has three mines in northern Tanzania – Bulyanhulu, Buzwagi and North Mara.
“Significant amounts of real value have been destroyed by this dispute and, in Barrick’s view, this proposal will allow the business to focus on rebuilding its mining operations in partnership with their respective stakeholders,” Barrick said in a statement.
The detailed proposal between Barrick and Tanzania will be presented to Acacia, which has independent directors.