Precious Metals

LSE:ACA

As the tax dispute between Acacia and the Tanzanian government continues, the company’s representative, Barrick Gold, has decided that it won’t provide a definite deadline to end the negotiations.

Acacia Mining (LSE:ACA) and its majority shareholder Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX,NYSE:ABX) have decided they will not provide a new deadline for the end of negotiations over the ongoing tax dispute in Tanzania, the companies announced on Monday (June 25).

The decision comes after Barrick, which is negotiating on behalf of Acacia, failed to meet a mid-year target to complete talks surrounding the ongoing tax issue.

“In order to allow the process to continue in an orderly manner and without an arbitrary deadline, Barrick is not providing a timetable for the completion of the discussions at this time,” the company noted in a press release.

“If Barrick is able to conclude discussions satisfactorily with the government, the proposal will be provided to the independent committee of the Acacia board of directors for its consideration,” Barrick added.

Despite failing to meet the deadline, both Acacia and Barrick remain positive about the situation, noting that the discussions between Barrick and the government of Tanzania are constructive and that progress has been made towards creating a “definitive agreement,” which is necessary for the “implementation of the proposed framework.”

In October of last year, Barrick, which owns 63.9 percent of Acacia, struck a framework deal with the Tanzanian government with the sole purpose of resolving the tax dispute.

According to the deal, Acacia would give the government a 16-percent stake in its mines, as well as a payment of US$300 million and equally split any “economic benefits” from operations.

Acacia also noted that any and all agreements must be reviewed by its board before being greenlit.

The tax dispute between the miner and the East African country transpired when Tanzania began making sweeping changes to its mining industry in order to reap more benefits from its minerals.

As part of these changes, the Tanzanian government slapped Acacia, its biggest gold miner, with a US$190 billion bill in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest in 2017.

Acacia has denied all wrongdoings.

“The company will continue to engage with Barrick to seek to understand Barrick’s expectations for the future conduct and a timetable for the completion of its discussions with the government on Tanzania,” Acacia said in a statement.

This is not the first time that the company has suffered as a result of the Tanzanian government making changes to policies and procedures within the mining sector. The miner has lost almost 80 percent of its value following a ban on unprocessed ore that was set into motion in March of last year.

As of 1:32 p.m. EST, Acacia was trading at GBX 114.00.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Nicole Rashotte, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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