Barrick outlines agreement with Tanzania aimed at ending Acacia gold export ban – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – February 21, 2019)

Barrick Gold Corp. has reached a new agreement with Tanzania that may finally end a punishing multiyear gold-export ban at its subsidiary Acacia Mining PLC that has weighed heavily on the share prices of both companies.

The development comes about six weeks after skilled African operator Mark Bristow took over as the new chief executive officer of Toronto-based Barrick.

The latest proposal would see Acacia split “economic benefits,” including taxes and royalties from its Tanzanian mines, 50/50 with the East African country. Acacia would also pay Tanzania US$300-million to resolve a long-running tax dispute. While the agreement is similar to one announced in late 2017, the tax penalty can be paid over time, instead up front. Barrick says it will present a proposal to Acacia in the “near future.”

Unusually, Barrick, which owns 63.9 per cent of London-based Acacia, has been negotiating with the Tanzanian government on its behalf. Acacia’s management team was locked out of discussions partly because of its poor relationship with Tanzania.

“Significant amounts of real value have been destroyed by this dispute,” Mr. Bristow said in a statement on Wednesday.

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