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Magufuli okays sale of confiscated gold, copper concentrates

Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Friday gave the greenlight for a consignment of 270 containers of gold and copper concentrates impounded at the port of Dar es Salaam in March 2017, to be sold.

The export of gold and copper concentrates now resumes after the country and Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold signed a new way forward agreement to kick-start their new joint venture company to oversee Barrick’s future gold mining operations in the country.

He was speaking after the signing ceremony of the new agreement at State House in Dar es Salaam.

The export is being undertaken by the newly formed Twiga Minerals Company, jointly owned by Barrick and Tanzania as part of their agreement.

“I know you have a buyer and that they already paid in advance, so work on it… if they are still up for it then sell to them. We are now in co-operation in a win-win situation,” the president said.

The latest pact between the two parties comprises nine separate agreements that will guide the implementation of the original agreement dating back to October 2017 when former Barrick affiliate Acacia Mining was still running the Tanzanian operation of three gold mines in the country’s lake zone.

The nine agreements signed this Friday cover: Basis of the entire Agreement, management and service delivery, Twiga Company Shareholders Agreement, North Mara Company shareholder agreement, Contract for shareholders of Bulyanhulu Company, Buzwagi Company Shareholders Agreement, North Mara Mine Development Agreement, Bulyanhulu Mine Development Agreement, and Pangea Mine development agreement.

Mr Magufuli said the new pact ended the “war between us and Barrick” and marked a “’very important day not only for Tanzania but Africa as a whole in terms of minerals trade.”

The president banned the export of concentrates in March 2017, citing false and incorrect declarations of the mineral sands quality. The ban led to the financial crisis in Acacia forcing it agree to a buyout by majority shareholders Barrick.

Tanzanian Foreign Affairs Minister Prof Paramagamba Kabudi said at Friday’s agreement signing was the culmination of a long journey of negotiations and renegotiations. “We have reviewed the entire agreement to ensure the best terms for each party,” said Prof Kabudi.

Barrick president and chief executive officer Mark Bristow acknowledged that “there were problems in the past,” but said they were ready to start a new partnership.

By The Eastafrica

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