31st January 2020
By Nelly Mtema in Dodoma
THE recently sealed Tanzania Barrick mining deal has been described as one of the best ever billed to spur the mining sector’s contribution to national economic growth.
Government Chief Spokesperson Dr Hassan Abbasi, addressing a press on Thursday, attributed the prototypical agreement to great brains and incisive negotiators from both sides.
The long-drawn-out negotiations which took about three years to come to fruition pitted both legal and economic experienced personnel under the headship of the Foreign Affairs Minister Prof Palamagamba Kabudi.
The negotiators were the BoT governor Prof Florens Luoga and Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Dotto James.
Others were Prof Abdulkarim Mruma, Casmir Kiuki, Prof Nehemiah Osoro, Dr Yamungu Kayandabira, Geoffrey Mwambe, Adolf Ndunguru, Andrew Massawe, and Bernard Asubisye.
They were up against the extractive industry’s heavyweights in the likes of Prof John Lawson Thornton– an American businessperson who has been at the helm of 11 different companies and holds the position of Chairman for Zenti, Inc. and Non-Independent Executive Chairman at Barrick Gold Corp. Another Barrick negotiator was Richard Williams, who served as Barrick’s chief of staff and later chief operating officer.
He held various high-profile roles at the company from Nevada to Tanzania, before leaving the company as it prepared to complete its merger with Randgold Resources Ltd.
Dr Abbasi noted that the agreement between the Tanzanian government and the Canadian miner marked the end of the tax disputes negotiations between the two parties and set a precedent for issuance of future mining licences.
The chief government spokesperson said that the country is set to benefit immensely from the mining sector with the new deal as it will now be part of the board and fully play role in the running of the newly established company.
“From this deal, we are going to be part of the company’s board, jointly take part in the supervision of the firm’s activities, thus acquiring the deserved share unlike how it was before,” he said.
At the signing ceremony last Friday in Dar es Salaam, Barrick President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow said there have been lots of criticisms and gossip about the negotiation but the signing of the agreements marked a historical day for Africa.
“We have had the best and finest negotiators and experts above all with patriotic minds, they have done the country honour and it’s worth . Thus the country will now be sharing in each and every aspects of running of the newly formed companies,” said Mr Bristow.
He said the deal opened a new chapter in the East African nation’s mining sector by granting the government ownership of 16 per cent of undiluted shares in the newly incorporated Twiga Minerals Corporation.
Through the deal, Tanzania has also taken control of 16 per cent stake in each of the three Barrick mines managed by the Twiga Minerals Corporation— Bulyanhulu, North Mara and Buzwagi and sharing of future economic benefits from the mines on a 50/50 basis.
Witnessing the agreement signing, President John Magufuli cautioned that since they have agreed on principles and signed the agreements, both parties should abide by the terms and conditions.
It is believed the Barrick’s International Advisory Board played a role in settling the matter.