Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: GOLD) (TSX: ABX) president and chief executive Mark Bristow met today 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.
Since Barrick took over the management of the mines in September 2019, the then moribund North Mara and Bulyanhulu have been revived, returned to profitability and are now truly world-class assets, with the potential to become Barrick’s seventh Tier One gold complex. It has also made significant progress in dealing with legacy social and environmental issues and is returning substantial value to its Tanzanian stakeholders.
In 2020 the government received more than $370 million in cash inflows from the Twiga partnership through taxes, dividends and the first $100 million tranche of the settlement agreement.
Barrick has also invested $800 million in the country’s economy, spent $2 million on community development and recruited 600 new local employees, with Tanzanian nationals now making up 96% of the mines’ workforce. Tanzanians appointed to key management and technical positions include general manager Apolinary Lyambiko, country manager Georgia Mutagahywa and country financial manager Melkiory Ngido. Barrick is continuing to work closely with the Mining Commission on its local content program, and local content spending already accounts for 73% of the mines’ purchases.
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 – a first for Africa – 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 said.