BARRICK Gold Corporation plans to invest $8 million (about 18.5bn/-) in new mineral exploration activities in Tanzania by the end of the year, thanks to favourable investment policies, rules and regulations.
This was unveiled by Barrick President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow during a media briefing following his quarterly mine visits, where he also praised good relations between his
corporation and the government through Twiga Minerals Corporation.
"Barrick Gold has been awarded 10 new exploration licences in Tanzania and we plan to spend $8 million on such a mission by the end of this year. We want to increase our activities in the country as we have good partnership of its kind between the investor and the host Tanzania government," he said.
The global gold miner with a presence in over 50 countries globally insists that besides working on new exploration licences, the company has already started implementing a new framework where, among other things, the miner has settled most of landowners' disputes in areas of mining and ensure there is full compliance with environmental permits.
"Rehabilitated and re-energised North Mara is ahead of plan in the year to date and Bulyanhulu has resumed underground mining operations and is scheduled to restart processing of underground ore by the end of this year as a long-life underground mine,"
said Mr Bristow, adding that embarking on local content and promoting business communities surrounding mines was a priority.
He said that the two mines which his company was gearing up for making them into a tier-one complex were capable of producing at least 500,000 ounces of gold annually and had life for more than 10 years in the lower half of the industry's coastline.
On local content in all industries supplies, the miner has already contracted a local security company to oversee safety and it regards communities surrounding mines as stakeholders and partners and has established a development committee for better engagement in a win-win situation.
Mr Bristow referred to the background of a tiff with former Acacia, the then sister company of Barrick which was dissolved amicably by establishing a jointly owned Twiga Minerals Corporation.
It oversees Barrick Gold assets in the country as well as the implementation of the economic benefit-sharing agreement.
Barrick agreed to pay $300 million to settle a dispute with Acacia of which $10 0 million has already been paid, according to Mr Bristow.
"More than $200 million has been paid to the government in form of taxes and royalties.
Last week, Twiga declared a maiden interim dividend of $250," he pointed out.
Copyright Tanzania Daily News. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com)., source News Service English