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Barrick resumes gold concentrate exports from Tanzania

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Barrick resumes gold concentrate exports from Tanzania

London — Barrick has restarted its shipment of gold concentrate from Tanzania, having paid the first tranche of the $300-million settlement it agreed with the Tanzanian government to resolve the disputes it inherited from Acacia Mining, the company said Monday.

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"In terms of its framework agreement with the government, the shipping of some 1,600 containers of concentrate stockpiled from Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi resumed in April and the first $100 million received from the sale has gone to the government," the company said in a statement.

Barrick -- the world's second largest miner -- said all material issues had been dealt with or were being finalized, adding that the initial payment will be followed by five annual payments of $40 million each.

The company also has settled the majority of the North Mara legacy land claims, with some 90% of the outstanding land claims at North Mara already settled "with payment scheduled to start today."

"Contrary to the past, where these claims were handled by the mine, the compensation process is being overseen by a committee representing Twiga, the government, the local authorities and the affected communities."

The company this is to ensure that the process is "transparent and that issues are dealt with fairly and promptly."

Last October, Barrick had agreed to settle a three-year, $300-million tax dispute with the Tanzanian government that included shared ownership of three gold mines previously owned by Acacia Mining.

In July 2019, the boards of UK-based Acacia Mining and Canadian Barrick Gold agreed to the offer from Barrick to purchase the 36.1% Acacia shares it did not hold for 232 pence per Acacia Share, a total value of around GBP951 million ($1.2 billion).

In 2017, the government of Tanzania hit Acacia with a $190-billion tax bill for alleged tax evasion stretching back two decades. Though Acacia had refuted the Tanzanian government's findings, it had been unable to export gold ore from the country since March 2017. The tax bill was subsequently reduced to $300 million.

Part of the October deal to settle Acacia's tax dispute required Barrick to form a new operating company called Twiga Minerals Corporation to manage the North Mara, Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi mines.

The Canadian miner had also agreed to give the Tanzanian government a shareholding of 16% in each of the three mines.