Twiga Minerals Corporation, the company established by Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: GOLD) (TSX: ABX) and the Government of Tanzania (GoT) to manage Barrick’s mining operations in the country has released in Q3 2020 update.
The company manages three gold mines: North Mara, Bulyanhulu, and Buzwagi.
In its update, Barrick explains that it has achieved several milestones in just one year, including resuming operations at North Mara, commencing mining at Bulyanhulu and kick-start a re-development plan for the mine to start processing in Q4 2020.
It has also been awarded 10 new exploration licenses in Tanzania and plans to spend USD 8 million on exploration in the country in 2020.
Twiga Minerals has also paid a maiden interim cash dividend of USD 250 million and Barrick has paid to GoT the first USD 100 million tranche of the USD 300 million settlement related to the past disputes with Acacia.
In addition, Barrick’s assets in Tanzania have paid more than USD 200 million to GoT in taxes and royalties, and USD 118 million on local contractors and suppliers, of which USD 41 million during Q3 2020.
Barrick has also committed to partner with the University of Dar es Salaam and fund a 10-year training and skills development in the mining industry, and to a USD 40 million upgrade of the road between Bulyanhulu and Mwanza as well as constructing a housing compound and related infrastructure.
Barrick President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow said: “The fact that so much value has been delivered in such a short time is a tribute to the power of what I believe is the first partnership of its kind in Africa. We are gearing up to potentially make North Mara and Bulyanhulu into a combined Tier One complex, capable of producing at least 500,000 ounces of gold annually for more than 10 years in the lower half of the industry’s cost profile. We shall also be looking to expand the life of operations as well as other new Tanzanian opportunities within the Twiga framework.”
Twiga Minerals was formed after Barrick took over the operations of the former Acacia Mining in September 2019, and subsequently entered into a framework agreement with GoT.
The new company was established in January 2020 and is owned for 84% by Barrick and 16% by GoT, and is based on 50/50 sharing of the economic benefits generated by the mining operations after the recoupment of capital investments.