Barrick helps facilitate Acacia Mining deal with Tanzanian government

TORONTO — Barrick Gold Corp. says it has helped facilitate a deal between Acacia Mining and the government in Tanzania as Barrick's new CEO looks to reorder the company.

Under the agreement, the economic benefits from Acacia's operations will be shared on an equal basis with Tanzania's government in the form of royalties, taxes and a 16 per cent free carry interest in the Tanzanian operations.

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A US$300-million payment to the government will also be made over time to resolve outstanding tax claims. The terms are similar to a preliminary agreement announced in late 2017.

"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," said Barrick CEO Mark Bristow, who took on the role in January after a merger with Randgold Resources.

Barrick holds a 63.9 per cent interest in Acacia, a London-based publicly traded company that is operated independently.

The Toronto-based company said work is underway to finalize the definitive agreements, which must be approved by Acacia and the Tanzanian government.

Efforts to put an end to the dispute in Tanzania, which has forced Acacia to significantly cut back on production, come as Bristow's team at Barrick review company operations globally.

The company said Wednesday it confirmed its commitment to Chile, despite major operational issues in the country, as it reviews its Latin American strategy.

Last year, Chile ordered the company to close the part of the Pascua-Lama mining project that falls within the country. The company said last year it would take a US$429 million charge after part of the project in the high Andes was shut down over concerns of its impact to water supplies.

Barrick said it continues to work on legal, environmental and other issues as it reviews the future potential of the project, which could go ahead as an underground operation.

Earlier in the week, Barrick confirmed its long-term commitment to the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea after Bristow met with politicians and local communities in the country.

Companies in this story: (TSX:ABX)

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