LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Acacia Mining threatened to use a bilateral investment treaty to force face-to-face talks with Tanzania over a long-running tax dispute that has seen the gold miner hit with a huge tax bill.
Acacia’s parent Barrick Gold has been negotiating with the Tanzanian government over the issue for 19 months but no final settlement has been reached and Acacia’s management stresses that it wants direct involvement in any talks.
An investment treaty between Tanzania and Britain could compel the east African country to have dialogue with Acacia over a period of six months, interim chief executive Peter Geleta told Reuters.
“It’s a further right that we have under the bilateral agreements between the countries,” he said. “But our first intention is to get parties to the table and to come up with a negotiated resolution, you don’t want to fight these fights in court, its not what we want to do.”
Shares in Acacia sank as much as 16 percent on concerns that the dispute was escalating before making up some ground to trade down 9.8 percent by 1235 GMT.