Barrick Gold Corporation has announced a commitment of up to US $70 million (about Sh161 billion) for investment in value-adding national projects.
The commitment is in accordance with the conditions underlying Barrick’s framework agreement with the government, which included the establishment of their Twiga joint venture. Twiga oversees a 50/50 split of the economic benefits generated by the mines as well as their management.
The projects include mining-related training, skills development and scientific facilities at Tanzanian universities, as well as road infrastructure. According to Barrick president and chief executive Mark Bristow, the investment programme was the latest evolution of the company’s very successful partnership with the government.
“Since we took over the Tanzanian mines from their previous operator in 2019, we have rebuilt relations with the state and renewed our social licence to operate here,” he said.
North Mara, expounded Mr Bristow, had been redesigned as an integrated underground/open pit mine and Bulyanhulu has been resuscitated as a long-life underground mine. Together they are expected to produce more than 500,000 ounces1 of gold per year at the lower end of the cost spectrum.
The company announced would spend $6 (about Sh13,800) for every ounce of gold sold by its two mines in the country on improving healthcare, education, infrastructure and access to potable water in the communities around them.
Barrick has spent more than $1.9 billion in taxes, salaries and payments to local businesses over the past two years. At least 73% of the mines’ goods and services are sourced locally and they give preference to the employment of Tanzanian nationals.