(Ecofin Agency) - Barrick Gold is looking for Chinese partners to help develop its “struggling” operations in Tanzania, the executive president John Thornton (photo) said in an interview with The Globe and Mail.
In Tanzania, the Canadian mining company operates three gold mining sites namely, Bulyanhulu, Buzwagi, and North Mara, via Acacia Mining, its subsidiary in which it owns 64% stakes.
According to the executive’s statements reported by Bloomberg, there’s “an almost 100 percent” chance that the Chinese will take part in the projects operated by Acacia Mining, which is delayed by issues with the government. Indeed, last year, Tanzania imposed an embargo on Acacia Mining’s exports of raw minerals and imposed a $190 billion income tax.
Acacia mining has never paid income taxes to the country which wants a new deal, the executive informed. According to him, Chinese companies can bring capital, technical expertise and – above all – political connections in Africa and parts of Latin America that North Americans cannot compete with.
“It’s one thing to be a Canadian company. It’s another to have China as your partner. If I know one thing, I know this is right: we have the thinnest talent in the most difficult areas and we can’t develop all these projects alone”, Thornton said to the Globe.
Barrick Gold is the largest gold producer in the world. In 2017, its Tanzanian operations contributed 491,000 ounces to its production estimated at 5.32 million ounces.