The CEO of global mining company Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD)(TSX:ABX), Mark Bristow, has met with Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan on 7th July 2021 to review progress at Twiga Minerals Corporation, the joint venture established in October 2019 to manage the company’s gold mines in the country, and to discuss the partnership’s future plans and prospects.
Barrick manages three gold mine in Tanzania: North Mara, Bulyanhulu, and Buzwagi.
Since it has taken over the mines from the now defunct Acacia Mining in September 2019, North Mara and Bulyanhulu have been revived, returned to profitability and have the potential to become Barrick’s seventh Tier One gold complex, the company explains.
It has also made significant progress in dealing with legacy social and environmental issues and is returning substantial value to its Tanzanian stakeholders.
And in 2020 the government received more than USD 370 million (TShs 856 billion) in cash inflows from the Twiga partnership through taxes, dividends and the first USD 100 million (TShs 231 billion) tranche of the settlement agreement.
Barrick has also invested USD 800 million (TShs 1,851 billion) in the country’s economy, spent USD 2 million (TShs 4.6 billion) on community development and recruited 600 new local employees, with Tanzanian nationals now making up 96% of the mines’ workforce.
Bristow said afterwards that the meeting had been a highly constructive one in which both parties had agreed that the success of the Twiga joint venture had demonstrated the value that could be created by a genuine economic benefit sharing partnership between a mining company and its host country.
“I confirmed that Barrick was in Tanzania for the long term and that we’ll be using our North Mara-Bulyanhulu complex as the base for further investment in the country, which is highly prospective but still largely unexplored. We see the potential for more world-class gold discoveries here but in order to achieve exploration success we need to keep turning over our licences and assessing new ground. The process of acquiring new licences is ongoing,” he concluded.
Tanzania gold reserves are estimated at about 45 million ounces. Gold exploration has been centered mostly on the greenstone belts around Lake Victoria, where several large deposits have already been discovered and are being developed.
Tanzania’s gold production increased by more than 700% over the past 25 years, from 5 to 40-50 tonnes per year, while South Africa’s production of gold decreased from over 500 tonnes in 1990 to 117 tonnes in 2018.