Barrick to discuss Tanzania tax row

TORONTO — Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) said in its quarterly results that it will start discussions with the Tanzania government next week on a precious-metal export ban and other issues impacting its majority-owned Acacia Mining company.

News of the talks come after Tanzania handed London-based Acacia a US$190-billion tax bill on Monday, alleging the 63.9-per-cent Barrick-owned company owes that much in back-taxes and penalties. Acacia disputes the assessment.

Tanzania also imposed a export ban on concentrated gold and silver in March, which could impact about six per cent of Barrick’s estimated 5.3 million to 5.6 million ounces of gold production for the year through Acacia’s mines. But Barrick said it’s waiting until Acacia revises its guidance before changing its full-year production outlook.

The Toronto-based miner reported a jump in net earnings to US$1.08 billion for the quarter ending June 30, up from US$138 million a year ago thanks to big gains from selling interests in the Veladero mine and Cerro Casale project.

Adjusted net earnings for the quarter came in at US$261 million or US$0.22 per share, up from US$158 million or US$0.14 per share for the same quarter last year after higher gold production and lower costs.

Cash flow for the period was US$43 million, down significantly from the US$274 million in the same quarter last year due to higher taxes paid, an increase in working capital and a planned increase in spending for future growth.

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