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"He knows the mining sector well, so we expect continuity of policy"

Tanzania has named a new mining minister as a prolonged dispute continues between the government and Barrick subsidiary Acacia Mining (LSE: ACA) over a US$190 billion tax bill, Reuters reports.
"He knows the mining sector well, so we expect continuity of policy" "He knows the mining sector well, so we expect continuity of policy" "He knows the mining sector well, so we expect continuity of policy" "He knows the mining sector well, so we expect continuity of policy" "He knows the mining sector well, so we expect continuity of policy"

Acacia’s Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania

Staff reporter

Dotto Biteko, whose appointment was announced by presidential official John Kijazi on state television, is the third mining minister President John Magufuli has appointed since he was elected in 2015, the wire service said.

"He knows the mining sector well, so we expect continuity of policy," Tanzania Chamber of Minerals and Energy (TCME) executive secretary Gerald Mturi told Reuters.

Biteko replaces Anjellah Kairuki, who has been appointed minister of state in the prime minister's office (investment).

Biteko has been deputy mining minister since January 2018 and previously led a parliamentary investigation that concluded there was widespread tax evasion and smuggling in the gemstone business, allegations that companies working in the sector have denied, Reuters said.

Acacia has hit a series of hurdles in the East African country. It was hit with the tax bill in 2017, banned from exporting gold concentrate, several past and present employees were arrested towards the end of 2018 and the company has been left out of negotiations between Barrick and the government. 

New Barrick CEO Mark Bristow said earlier this month he was optimistic the Tanzanian dispute would be resolved, saying the situation couldn't continue as "every stakeholder is hurting".

Acacia shares, which were trading above £5 in early 2017, closed yesterday a little over £1.97.