Barrick claims it’s back to business in Tanzania, but questions remain – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – January 25, 2020)

Barrick has finalized an agreement to end an almost three-year dispute with the east African country of Tanzania that had sidelined a significant portion of its African gold production and cast a shadow on its share price.

On Friday, Mark Bristow, Barrick Gold Corp.’s chief executive, attended a public signing ceremony in Tanzania’s biggest city, Dar es Salaam, alongside Tanzanian President John Magufuli and Doto Biteko, Minister of Minerals. The event set in stone a preliminary agreement announced in October.

In a speech broadcast on Tanzanian television, Mr. Bristow described the effort to reach agreement as a “long safari,” referencing the Swahili word for journey. “Today we started a new partnership,” the South African-born Mr. Bristow said.

Later, he walked over to Mr. Magufuli and the two shook hands to public applause. The gesture of friendliness seems to put an end to what has been a particularly bitter dispute between the world’s second-largest gold miner and one of the most impoverished countries on the planet.

In March, 2017, Tanzania prohibited Acacia Mining PLC (then a subsidiary of Barrick), of exporting any gold concentrate out of the country, in an apparent effort to prod the company to patronize the local smelting industry.

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