Barrick CEO upbeat on partnership for reviving gold industry in Tanzania

By Lake Zone Watch Writer

Barrick Gold Corporation President and CEO Mark Bristow has been enthralled by a partnership with the government of Tanzania, saying it has revitalized the country’s gold mining industry and serves as a business model to others, especially developing nations.

Addressing media on Monday at Barrick Gold North Mara, Bristow said when Barrick Gold took control of North Mara and Bulyanhulu in 2019, the two mines that now form the Twiga complex were rundown and at a virtual standstill due to a deadlock dispute between the government and the previous operators.

“We settled the dispute and established Twiga as a 50.50 economic sharing partnership which also vested a 16% in each mine with the government. The mines can now produce at least 500,000 ounces of gold annually for 10 years,’’ said Bristow.

Since Barrick’s buyout of the minority shareholders, the mines have contributed $ 2.8 billion to Tanzania’s economy in the form of taxes, levies, dividends, salaries, and payments to local suppliers.

“We have fixed environmental, land claims and human right issues that had destroyed the reputation of the two mines. Twiga has invested more than $12.5million for quality health care, education facilities, potable water and alternative source of income for communities surrounding the mines,’’ said Bristow.

Twiga has also committed $ 30million to a school programme which in partnership with the government, aims to build 1,090 classrooms and other facilities for 161 schools across the country for an estimated 49,000 ‘A’ Level students scheduled for admission this July. It has also pledged $ 40 million for construction of Kahama to Kakola road.

According to Barrick Gold President and CEO, Twiga continues to display strong production performance and both mines have maintained strong focus on the health and safety of workers, with Bulyanhulu winning Overall Tanzania OSHA Compliance Award for 2023 in the Mining Sector Category, while North Mara became second runner-up.

Bristow also remarked that globally, Barrick has a policy prioritizing local employment, and at Twiga, 96% of its workforce is Tanzanian, half of which is drawn from communities around the mines.

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