Barrick Gold commits Sh160 billion on Tanzania projects
Dar es Salaam. Barrick Gold Corporation yesterday announced the commitment of up to $70 million (about Sh161 billion) for investment in value-adding national projects.
The projects include mining-related training, skills development and scientific facilities at Tanzanian universities, as well as road infrastructure.
This is in accordance with the conditions underlying Barrick’s framework agreement with the government, which included the establishment of their Twiga joint venture.
Twiga oversees a 50/50 split of the economic benefits generated by the mines as well as their management.
Barrick president and chief executive Mark Bristow said yesterday the investment programme was the latest evolution of the company’s very successful partnership with the government.
“Since we took over the Tanzanian mines from their previous operator in 2019, we have rebuilt relations with the state and renewed our social licence to operate here,” he said.
North Mara, expounded Mr Bristow, had been redesigned as an integrated underground/open pit mine and Bulyanhulu has been resuscitated as a long-life underground mine. Together they are expected to produce more than 500,000 ounces1 of gold per year at the lower end of the cost spectrum, he said.
As it is, the company announced yesterday it would spend $6 (about Sh13,800) for every ounce of gold sold by its two mines in the country on improving healthcare, education, infrastructure and access to potable water in the communities around them.
Barrick has spent more than $1.9 billion in taxes, salaries and payments to local businesses over the past two years.
At least 73 percent of the mines’ goods and services are sourced locally and they give preference to the employment of Tanzanian nationals.
Barrick has to date also paid the government $140 million of the $300 million settlement included in the framework agreement.