Barrick to acquire Acacia in effort to solve dispute

Image: Acacia Mining

Barrick Gold plans to acquire the remaining Acacia Mining shares it doesn’t own in a buyout offer to douse a long stand-off with the Tanzanian Government.

The gold mining giant has been seeking a settlement with the eastern African country’s government over unpaid taxes for the last two years.

Though Barrick has reportedly made significant progress in the discussion, the Tanzanian Government would not enter into a settlement directly with Acacia, but required the company and its shareholders’ management style be changed.

Barrick, which already owns 64 per cent of Acacia, has proposed a share exchange of 0.153 of its shares for each Acacia ordinary share, valuing the subsidiary at $US787 million ($1.1 billion).

The majority shareholder reported that a significant amount of Acacia’s value has already been destroyed by the dispute.

Acacia is considering Barrick’s proposal and will seek to clarify the position of the Tanzanian government.

“The Acacia minority shareholders will be able to benefit from any future potential upside in both the Acacia assets and Barrick’s broader portfolio of assets,” Barrick said in a statement.

It has also revealed plans to divest its two African gold mines – Kibali and Loulo-Gounkoto – by 2020 due to the longstanding stand-off.

Acacia received a fine this week at its North Mara gold mine in Tanzania for allegedly breaching environmental regulations and caused mine site seepage from the tailings storage facility. The London-listed company has three mines, including Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi in north-west Tanzania.

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