By Devota Mwachang’a and Moshi Shabani
A London listed company Barrick Gold Corporation (Acacia Mining PLC) has surrendered before Tanzania President John Magufuli and said is ready for a talk with the government of Tanzania after accused of operating illegally and evading taxes, a statement from the State House has said.
President Magufuli met with Chairperson and owner of Barrick Gold Corporation, Prof. John L. Thornton from Canada, and High Commissioner for Canada to Tanzania Ian Myles at State House in Dar es Salaam.
According to the statement, Prof Thornton said his company is ready for discussion with the government which will consider the interests of both sides as well as paying all amount of money that owed by the government of Tanzania.
For his part, President Magufuli said that the government is ready for discussion and will form a panel of experts that will sit for discussion with Barrick Gold Corporation so as to reach with the consensus to clear the debt.
Apart from clearing the debt, Prof. Thornton has accepted to cooperate with the country in constructing the smelting machine for mineral sand in Tanzania.
Meanwhile, President Magufuli warned media which mentioned and involved the former Tanzanian presidents Benjamin Mkapa and Jakaya Kikwete into the second report of the mineral sand.
"I have read both reports of mineral sands, I didn’t see any where wrote about Kikwete and Mkapa so you should not distort their image," the President said.
On Monday, a government commission said fraud in the mining sector had cost Tanzania $84 billion (75 billion euros) over 19 years and blamed foreign companies for failing to declare revenues.
Tanzania is rich in minerals and ranks fourth among gold producers on the continent. Gold is the country’s leading mineral export and one of its primary sources of revenue.
Tanzania also exports copper, nickel, silver, diamonds and other precious stones such as tanzanite.
In March, Tanzania said it was banning exports of non-processed ore in a bid to promote the development of the mineral processing sector, create new jobs locally and increase revenues generated by the sector.
Last month, Magufuli dismissed the country’s mines minister after receiving a report from geologists that said mining companies had underestimated their mineral exports in order to pay lower taxes.
The report had said that poor management of the sector meant officials were not able to tell how much or what kind of ores were being exported.