DAR ES SALAAM – Tanzania said on Friday it was due to sign an agreement with Canadian miner Barrick Gold, which could end a long-running and costly tax dispute.
"President Magufuli will witness the signing of an agreement between the government of Tanzania and the mining company Barrick. The event will take place today," Gerson Msigwa, spokesman for the President, said in a tweet.
The Tanzania dispute was a big headache for Acacia Mining, which was bought out by Barrick last year in a $1.2-billion transaction. The government's ban on the export of mineral concentrates in 2017, after accusing Acacia of tax evasion, led to a one-third cut in the miner's output.
Barrick Gold and the government had said in October they agreed to settle the tax dispute. The deal included payment of $300-million to settle outstanding tax and other disputes, the lifting of the concentrate export ban, and the sharing of future economic benefits from mines on a 50:50 basis, Barrick said at the time.
In October, the parties said a new operating company named Twiga Minerals would be formed to manage the Bulyanhulu, North Mara and Buzwagi mines after a review by Tanzania's attorney general.
"The government is going to sign an agreement with Barrick whereby a new (joint venture) company known as Twiga Minerals has been formed and the government owns shares in this company," Magufuli told a ruling party meeting in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam on Friday, shortly before the signing of the deal.
"There will be no more cheating in the mining sector."
A Barrick spokeswoman declined to comment on the signing of an agreement with Tanzania.