Barrick’ Acacia Mining sees big losses as Tanzania dispute continues


TORONTO _ Acacia Mining says it has scrapped its 2017 dividend and expects about a 40 per cent cut in gold output for the year ahead, as a dispute with the Tanzanian government continues into a second year.

The London-based company, 64 per cent owned by Toronto-headquartered Barrick Gold Corp., says it took a writedown
of US$644 million for 2017 because of export restrictions on some of its gold and copper production, resulting in a net loss of US$707 million.

For 2018, the company says it expects to produce between 435,000 to 475,000 ounces of gold, compared with 767,883 last year, after cutting back production at its Bulyanhulu mine because of the export ban.

Barrick announced in October that it had negotiated a deal with the Tanzanian government that will see a 50-50 sharing of economic benefits from Acacia’s three mines in the country, as well as a goodwill payment from Acacia of US$300 million _ but Acacia says it still has yet to see a detailed proposal of the terms.

The deal was struck as the Barrick subsidiary looks to sort out the export ban as well as a US$190-billion tax bill from the Tanzania government.

Acacia saw its chief executive officer and chief financial officer leave late last year, with Peter Geleta stepping in as interim CEO, and Jaco Maritz as CFO, while the company has also appointed Asa Mwaipopo as managing director for Tanzania.

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