Released on the 14th September 2023
Earlier today, The Globe and Mail reported on payments made by Barrick’s UK subsidiary, Barrick TZ Limited, to a Tanzanian national law-enforcement task force, the NTF. The Globe and Mail’s article was based on documents that have been recently referenced in UK Court proceedings concerning claims for compensation by Tanzanian citizens arising from incidents that took place at the North Mara Mine in Tanzania between 2014 and 2019. The NTF is not a party to the UK proceedings nor is it alleged to have been involved in any of the incidents which took place at the North Mara Mine.
As explained in those documents, the NTF is an official law enforcement agency of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania. The NTF primarily conducts counter-organised crime, -terrorism, -corruption, and -intelligence operations throughout Tanzania. In particular, as a national resource, the NTF is responsible for protecting the interests of critical national and private sector infrastructure.
As a major contributor to the local economy, and similarly to other private sector organisations in developing countries, Acacia Mining Plc (the predecessor company to Barrick TZ Limited), entered into arrangements with the NTF in relation to its operations in Tanzania. These included a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in May 2014.
This arrangement was entirely bona fide. All payments made under the arrangement were proper and supported the provision of important policing services which helped to prevent serious crime. Acacia, or indeed any Barrick entity, has never exercised control or direction over the NTF, the Tanzanian police or over any branch or agency of the Tanzania police.
As the documents illustrate, Acacia continuously monitored compliance with all applicable laws. A decision was taken by Acacia to terminate the MOU (and the payments thereunder) in October 2015, and payments ceased to be made from November 2015. This decision did not reflect any breach of any applicable law.