Company News

Barrick sees $300 mln Acacia payment in "region" of settlement

TORONTO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Canadian miner Barrick Gold Corp said on Thursday that a $300 million “good faith” payment its Acacia Mining unit will make to Tanzania could be “in the region” of a total settlement for a tax dispute.

Barrick last week said it reached a framework deal to end a months-long dispute between Acacia and the Tanzanian government, which included the government getting a $300 million payment from Acacia toward outstanding tax claims and 16-percent stake in Acacia’s three in-country gold mines.

Tanzania banned unprocessed mineral exports as part of a push to reap greater rewards from resources in March and in July served Acacia, the country’s largest gold miner, with a $190 billion bill for unpaid taxes, penalties and interest.

“The $300 million number was, again, come to on the basis of probability both parties agreed that could be the region of a settlement,” Barrick Chief Operating Officer Richard Williams said on a conference call Thursday with analysts.

“It would be premature of anybody to sit and say that is a final position. Which is why we refer to it as a down payment: there’s more work to be done yet.”

Barrick, which owns 63.9 percent of Acacia, said Thursday that it is aiming for a final agreement with the government of Tanzania by mid-2018, and is also working with the east African country to lift an export ban affecting Acacia. (Reporting by Susan Taylor; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)