Barrick: Govt implements clauses in Twiga

THE government of Tanzania deserves praise for living to its commitments in implementing all clauses with Barrick Gold Corporation in the Twiga Minerals deal.

Taking the stance, while briefing the media at North Mara Gold Mine site, recently, Barrick Gold Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer, Mark Bristow further said: “I am working with 18 governments individually from the United States to Mali, but to be honest, in Tanzania I am getting all the corporations I need. Kindly, pass my best regards to President Samia Suluhu Hassan for this heart and goal.”

He said the teamwork in Twiga Minerals-a joint venture between the government and Barrick has revitalized Tanzania’s gold mining industry that should serve as a model for similar operations, particularly in developing countries.

He added: “When Barrick took over control over North Mara and Bulyanhulu-the mines that now form the Twiga complex-both were rundown and at a virtual standstill due to a deadlock dispute between the government and previous operators

“We settled the dispute and established Twiga as a 50:50 economic benefits sharing partnership, which also vested a 16 per cent shareholding in each mine with the government.

We reinvented the mines which now, as a combined complex, produce gold at a Tier One level, in other words one which can produce at least 500,000 ounces of gold annually for more than 10 years at the lower half of the industry cost curve. So successful are these operations that, since Barrick’s buyout of the minority shareholders, they have contributed more than $2.8 billion (6.85 tri/-) to the Tanzanian economy in the form of taxes, levies, dividends, salaries and payments to local suppliers.

“Equally important, we have fixed the environmental, land claims and human rights issues that destroyed these mines’ reputations and have restored their social licence to operate as an integral member of their communities. Since its establishment, Twiga has invested more than $12.5 million (29bn/-)  in landmark projects identified in collaboration with the community development committees we established at the mines – to provide access to quality healthcare, educational facilities, potable water and alternative sources of income.

Among these is an irrigation system which is expected to substantially improve production for 2,356 farmers.

Twiga has also committed 30 million US dollars (69bn/-) to a Future Forward School Programme, which in partnership with the government, will build 1,090 classrooms and other facilities across 161 schools nationwide, to accommodate some 49.000 of the estimated 190,000 students who will start their A-levels in July this year.

In addition, it has pledged 40 million US dollars (92bn/-) to construct a 73 kilometre road from Kahama to Kakola.

Operationally, Bristow said the Twiga complex was continuing its production performance and was well on track to achieve its goal for the year. Both mines are maintaining a strong focus on the health and safety of their workers, and in April Bulyanhulu won the Overall Tanzanian OSHA” Compliance Award for 2023 in the Mining Sector Category and North Mara was second runner-up.

Globally, Barrick has a policy of prioritizing local employment and at Twiga this has delivered a workforce which is 96 per cent Tanzanian, with almost half drawn from the communities around the mines.

Bristow said conversion drilling at North Mara was successfully replacing the reserves depleted by mining and first ore was mined at the mine’s new Gena pit last quarter. Additional opportunities for resource conversion have been identified at both mines.

Appreciating the work of Barrick in the Twiga deal, Deputy Minister of Minerals, Dr Steven Kiruswa said, the government has and will still create a condusive business environment for any serious investors in the country.

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