Barrick Gold, world’s second-largest gold producer, will start to ship out gold estimated to be worth $280 million from Tanzania, the miner chief executive Mark Bristow told Reuters on Monday.
According to Bristow, the decision to export came after, Barrick and the government of Tanzania, settled its three-year- tax disputes.
On Friday, January 24, Barrick and Tanzania settled the dispute, and the signing ceremony which was televised marked a fresh start for Barrick which is the largest miner in Tanzania.
“The shipments will start immediately and, as we speak, we are mobilizing the concentrates. It’s (worth) around $260-$280 million depending on the price of metal prices at the time of sale” Mark Bristow told Reuters in a telephone interview
Spot gold, which rose 18% last year, is hovering at about $1,600 per ounce. And yet, Barrick’s operations in Tanzania, contribute almost 6 per cent of its gold output.
According to Reuters, Bristow said $100 million from the proceeds of the sale of concentrates will go towards paying down a $300 million settlement agreed with the government.
As part of the deal, Tanzania will own 16 per cent of Twiga Minerals, a new joint venture set up to manage the local mines: Bulyanhulu, North Mara and Buzwagi mines.
In the long-standing dispute, Acacia was accused of tax evasion, leading the government to impose a ban on exporting mineral concentrates and to change mining laws in 2017.
Further, Bristow who also declined to give further details, said shutting Acacia Mining’s office in London and reducing staff numbers in Johannesburg and Dar es Salaam, had already reduced costs, but he saw the further potential for efficiency.
In the fourth quarter of this year, Barrick anticipates to re-start the Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania, which ceased operations because of the export ban.
In addition, Reuters noted that Bristow declined to give any update on three people who worked for Acacia Mining and have been in jail in Tanzania since 2018.