Fresh moves to resolve ‘untenable’ tax spat
Publish date: 07 January 2019
Issue Number: 805
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
The new Barrick Gold Corp is considering options for its stake in Acacia Mining PLC, including a possible sale, as it works to end a nearly two-year-long tax dispute in Tanzania that has effectively shuttered its operations. A report on the allAfrica site notes that the company which began trading last week following its merger with Randgold Resources, holds a 64% stake in Acacia, which has not been able to export gold during the tax row. CEO Mark Bristow expressed confidence that the conflict, which began when the Tanzanian government slapped Acacia with a $190bn tax bill in March 2017, would be resolved. ‘This has been a very complex and challenging situation where no one has won. It's untenable and will be resolved,’ said Bristow. Under an October 2017 framework pact that has yet to be implemented, Barrick chairman John Thornton and Tanzanian President John Magufuli agreed that Acacia would pay the government $300m and 16% ownership and split the profits of its mines.