TWIGA Minerals Corp., a joint venture between Barrick Gold and the Tanzanian government, has paid a maiden interim cash dividend of $250m, the Canadian gold miner said in an announcement.
The inauguration of the dividend was in line with an agreement Barrick signed with the government to share profits from the three mines in the east African country: Bulyanhulu, North Mara and Buzwagi, previously owned by Acacia Resources.
Twiga Minerals was formally created in October last year as part of a settlement with the Tanzanian government following an acrimonious three-year stand-off with Acacia. The government blocked Acacia’s exports after alleging it had underpaid on tax for more than 20 years equal to $190bn in taxes plus penalties and interest.
In addition to shared profits via the dividend, Barrick Gold also agreed to pay the Tanzanian government $300m, the first $100m tranche of which was paid in May. This was in return for the lifting of the concentrate export ban. The joint venture also allowed for the establishment of an international dispute resolution framework.
Since Barrick took over just over a year ago, it has paid approximately $205m to the government in taxes, royalties and dividends in addition to the first payment tranche under the two parties’ agreement to settle pre-Barrick disputes, the company said.