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Gold miner seeks deal to lift Tanzanian ban
January 7, 2018, 3:09 pm

Canada-based Barrick Gold Corporation, the world’s largest gold mining company, which is embroiled in stand-off with the Tanzanian government over a tax dispute, said it was willing to pay a $300 million settlement if the government lifted its ban on gold exports.

Last week, the firm said in a statement that it hoped a final agreement between the government and its Tanzanian subsidiary Acacia could be struck by the first half of next year. The statement added, "Given Acacia's current financial position, these payments would be made over time, using Acacia's ongoing cash flows. As such, payment would be conditional on Acacia's ability to sell concentrate. Barrick will also be working with the government of Tanzania to establish the basis upon which the concentrate export ban can be lifted as expediently as possible, including protocols for joint oversight and verification of concentrate shipments."

In March, Tanzania accused Acacia Mining, of which Barrick holds 63.9 percent, of understating its gold shipments. The government then banned the export of unprocessed minerals.

The world's largest gold miner said that it was optimistic that its negotiating team and that from the Tanzanian government would work to complete detailed documentation and final agreements for review and approval by Acacia in the first half of 2018. A week earlier, Acacia's chief finance officer Andrew Wray told analysts said that the firm does not have the ability to pay $300 million to Tanzania to resolve the tax dispute.

The firm's operations affected by the ban accounted for about 6 percent of Barrick's 2017 gold production forecast, which has now been revised downwards to between 5.3 million and 5.5 million ounces of gold from between 5.3 million ounces and 5.6 million ounces. The company reported a net loss of $11 million for the third quarter to September this year, compared with net earnings of $175 million in 2016.


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