The Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi made this affirmation after finalizing consultations with Barrick Gold chief executive officer Mark Bristow in Dar es Salaam.
He said that the partnership is meant to develop Tanzania’s gold assets for the benefit of all stakeholders.
“Twiga will make our new partnership an example to other mining ventures which are investing in Tanzania and those who want to invest in Tanzania,” Prof Kabudi told reporters.
The Barrick CEO expressed relief that the dispute between the gold mining giant and the government is over and the company is now ready to work together with the government.
“A true partnership can only be affirmed when you have a 50-50 stakeholding and our joint venture with the government of Tanzania is exactly that - a committed partnership to develop Tanzania’s gold assets for the benefit of all stakeholders,” said Bristow in a statement.
The government and the company have reached a deal to settle a long-running tax with Acacia, whose remaining 37 per cent shares Barrick bought in a USD1.2 billion transaction approved by a British court last month.
The tax deal includes the payment of USD300 million to settle outstanding tax and other disputes, the lifting of a concentrate export ban, and the sharing of future economic benefits from mines on a 50-50 basis, the Barrick statement indicated.
A new operating company, Twiga Minerals has been formed to manage the Bulyanhulu, North Mara and Buzwagi mines after a review by the Attorney General.
Under the agreement, the government will also buy a 16 per cent shareholding in each of the mines.
“This company has been registered in Tanzania and it will be headquartered in Mwanza,” the minister noted, underlining that the deal marks a new partnership with Barrick.
He said details of the deal would be submitted to the Attorney General for review and he expects that to be completed by November 15th.
An Africa-focused international dispute resolution framework will also be established as part of the agreement, Barrick said in turn.
The deal comes days after the Canadian company fell short of analysts’ estimates for third quarter gold production due to low output at its North Mara mine, observers noted.