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Acacia urges shareholders to take no action to Barrick's takeover

Acacia Mining PLC advised shareholders on May 22 to take no action to Barrick Gold Corp.'s indicative offer to buy all the shares in Acacia it does not already own, in a deal valued at US$285 million.

The company also said it was informed by Barrick that significant progress has been made toward finalizing a resolution in its dispute with Tanzania. It has been provided with documents indicating an advanced stage of negotiations, but a deal has not yet been reached.

Acacia noted that it continues to be excluded from the discussions between Barrick and the Tanzanian government, and that it has been provided with a letter from the Tanzanian government stating that it was unwilling to reach a final deal if Acacia was involved.

The letter goes on to specify that the government will only agree to a deal if it is satisfied that substantial changes are made to the management style of the operating companies and their shareholders.

Acacia's Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Ltd., North Mara Gold Mine Ltd. and Pangea Minerals Ltd. units operate the Bulyanhulu, North Mara, and Buzwagi gold mines in the country, respectively.

In February, Barrick and the Tanzanian government reached a tentative settlement, which would include paying US$300 million to settle tax claims, sharing economic benefits from mining operations 50/50 and creating a domestic company to manage Tanzanian operations.

The country, without providing detailed evidence, accused Acacia of not paying US$190 billion in taxes, interest and penalties to Tanzania and that it under-reported metal content in concentrates, the export of which it has banned since 2017. Acacia has strongly denied all allegations.