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Tanzania okays Barrick gold shipments

Nearly four months after Tanzania lifted a gold concentrate export ban, Barrick Gold Corporation subsidiary Twiga Minerals has been cleared to resume exports.
Tanzania okays Barrick gold shipments Tanzania okays Barrick gold shipments Tanzania okays Barrick gold shipments Tanzania okays Barrick gold shipments Tanzania okays Barrick gold shipments

Barrick Gold says the Tanzania Government has allowed it to resume gold shipments from its local mines, including North Mara

Shipping of some 1,600 containers of concentrate stockpiled from former Acacia Mining assets, Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi, resumed in April, allowing Barrick to pay the first US$100 million received from sales to government as part of a $300 settlement of legacy issues between Acacia and the Tanzania government.

The government imposed a ban on exporting concentrates in 2017 after accusing Acacia of tax evasion to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Tanzania committed to lifting an export ban on Barrick's gold on January 24 when the two parties signed a deal in which government took a 16% stake in Twiga Minerals, ending the dispute.

Barrick said all material issues had now been dealt with or were being finalised, and the initial payment would be followed by five annual payments of $40 million.

The comprehensive settlement agreement also provides a mechanism to settle land claims at North Mara, with payments set to start immediately.

Barrick's Africa and the Middle East COO, Willem Jacobs, said the basis of the settlement, which also provided for future claims, was produced during several weeks of close and constructive engagement between Twiga, the Mines and Land ministries, local authorities and the community.

A commercial bank has been appointed to provide financial training to the compensated landowners.

Operationally, since taking over North Mara, Barrick had focused on improving the mine's water management with special emphasis on its tailings storage facility. Jacobs said Barrick's intervention had "put an end to 15 years of poor water management" on site and had ensured environmental risks were "properly contained" in line with the group's best practice standards.

North Mara is forecast to produce 240,000-270,000oz gold in 2020 at AISC of $830-$880/oz.

Bulyanhulu is expected to produce 30,000-50,000oz at AISC of $1,100-$1,160/oz, while Buzwagi is slated to produce 80,000-100,000oz at AISC of $850-$900/oz this year.

In total, Barrick expects 2020 annual output of 4.6-5Moz, at AISC of $920-$970/oz.

Barrick shares (NYSE:GOLD) have more than doubled over the past 12 months to $26.32, which capitalises the company at $47 billion.