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Twiga Minerals, the joint venture between the Tanzanian government and Barrick Gold Corporation, has revitalized the country’s gold mining industry through a partnership that should serve as a model for similar operations, particularly in developing regions, Barrick president and chief executive Mark Bristow said this week.
Briefing media at a mine visit, Bristow said in 2019 when Barrick took control over North Mara and Bulyanhulu – the mines that now form the Twiga complex – both were rundown and at a virtual standstill due to a deadlocked dispute between the government and the previous operators.
“We settled the dispute and established Twiga as a 50:50 economic benefits sharing partnership, which also vested a 16% shareholding in each mine with the government. We reinvented the mines which now, as a combined complex, produce gold at a Tier One level, in other words one which can produce at least 500,000 ounces of gold annually for more than 10 years at the lower half of the industry cost curve. So successful are these operations that, since Barrick’s buyout of the minority shareholders, they have contributed more than $2.8 billion to the Tanzanian economy in the form of taxes, levies, dividends, salaries and payments to local suppliers,” Bristow said.
“Equally important, we have fixed the environmental, land claims and human rights issues that destroyed these mines’ reputations and have restored their social licence to operate as an integral member of their communities. Since its establishment, Twiga has invested more than $12.5 million in landmark projects – identified in collaboration with the community development committees we established at the mines – to provide access to quality healthcare, educational facilities, potable water and alternative sources of income. Among these is an irrigation system which is expected to substantially improve production for 2,356 farmers.”