THE agreement between the government and Barrick Gold Corporation, which led to the establishment of joint venture company ‘Twiga Minerals Corporation’ set a strong base for ending mining related conflicts in the country.
Ruling party-CCM presidential candidate, Dr John Magufuli told hundreds of thousands of wananchi who attended his campaign rally at the Kirumba Stadium in Mwanza City that his government has made a big step in making sure the mining sector contributes handsomely to the country's development as required.
The company was established to oversee the management of Barrick's local operations, which are now owned 84 per cent by Barrick and 16 per cent by the government.
The deal provides for a 50/50 sharing of economic benefits generated by the mining operations after the recoupment of capital investments.
Dr Magufuli hit out at some people who for their own reason accused the government of not telling the truth during the negotiation process, saying now, everything has come to light for wananchi to know the truth.
“As we speak today, we have a legal agreement on how to benefit from our resources, we agreed to establish Twiga Minerals Corporation and its headquarters will be here in Mwanza,” he noted.
He said the agreement and other reforms have set precedent in the sector and that it is a good beginning for the nation and its people to benefit from the business.
He said the agreement will enable the government of Tanzania to get 230bn/- from the business annually.
The establishment of the company made the government, for the first time in the country's independence history, to have legal secured interests and opening a new era of productive partnership in the mining industry.
This follows the successful negotiations and subsequent signing of a landmark agreement between the government and the Barrick Gold Corporation, the second-largest gold mining company in the world, with its headquarters in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The negotiations could not only lead to the formation of the mining firm, but also to payments of 100 million US dollars as compensation paid by Barrick Corporation out of 300 US dollars the company agreed to pay to settle all outstanding tax and other disputes.
Besides ending the prolonged dispute, the deal signed by Barrick President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow and Tanzanian Minerals Minister Doto Biteko in Dar es Salaam, sets a template for negotiations with other firms.
In October, 2019, Barrick President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow said the agreements introduced a new era of productive partnership with the government of Tanzania and would ensure that Tanzania and its people would share fully in the value created by the mines they hosted.
“Twiga Minerals represents a structure which allows the government and the people of Tanzania to be involved in the decision-making of everything that we do together," Bristow is quoted as saying.
According to him, the agreements also marked the end of the long impasse between the government of Tanzania and Acacia, which had led, among other things, to the closure of North Mara and the freezing of export concentrate from the two other operations.
Yesterday, Dr Magufuli said generally his government had successfully made a big step in bringing changes in the sector. He said a total of 147 mining licenses had been provided to small scale miners in Mwanza Region alone.
“Mwanza is among mineral-rich regions, I can assure you that my government is doing everything in its capacity to make sure you benefit from the sector. The agreement between the government and Barrick Gold Corporation is a good start in ensuring profitable business," said Dr Magufuli.