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Tanzanian government allows Acacia Mining to resume gold exports

Acacia Mining PLC received approval from the Tanzanian government to resume gold exports from the North Mara mine following an investigation at the end of July, according to a statement released on the London Stock Exchange on Aug. 12.

However, the Mining Commission of the Tanzanian Ministry of Minerals also said it believes that provisions of mining regulations from 2010 were violated, and it directed the mine to submit a feasibility study report and mine plan for approval by Aug. 16.

Acacia has been under pressure since Tanzania banned all exports of metal concentrate in 2017. Acacia operates and owns three gold-producing mines in northwestern Tanzania: Bulyanhulu, Buzwagi and North Mara.

In May, the company was given three weeks to fix defects in the mine's sewer infrastructure after the government found that the mine had leaked polluted water into nearby communities and rivers. The ministry also said in July that it would undertake an inspection of North Mara.

Acacia was also in a dispute over unpaid taxes. Talks between the miner and government had allegedly reached a deadlock when Barrick Gold Corp., which owned 36.1% in Acacia, entered into separate talks on behalf of its majority-held business and reached a tentative settlement. Barrick then offered to buy out shares it did not already own in Acacia, leading to a dispute between the two mining companies over Barricks' valuation of Acacia and mutual criticism of Acacia's mining plans and negotiation strategy.

On July 19, Acacia accepted an improved takeover offer by Barrick Gold. The higher offer valued Acacia at £2.32 per share, or £951 million.