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Acacia fires off 5,000-word rebuttal to Barrick Gold’s claims

Highlights

  • Company disagrees with Barrick’s valuation of its shares
  • Acacia said Barrick’s Tanzania intervention undermined company

Barrick Gold Corp.’s troubled African unit, Acacia Mining Plc, posted an almost 5,000 word rebuttal to claims from its parent amid an increasingly bitter spat between the two companies.

Barrick is seeking to buy out the remaining shares it doesn’t own in Acacia to end its troubled time as a listed company. Yet Barrick is refusing to offer any kind of premium and is also in control of negotiations with Tanzania, where Acacia has been in a dispute with the government.

Acacia said on Monday that Barrick buying out its minority shareholders would be an attractive solution, but it disagrees with the valuation of its stock. It also said many of its problems with Tanzania, which have led to the collapse of its share price, were made worse by Barrick’s intervention in negotiations.

Two years ago, Tanzania handed Acacia an export ban and a $190 billion tax bill, saying it falsely declared bullion sales abroad. Since then, the miner’s position in the East African country has deteriorated further. Barrick stepped in to lead talks in a process that has seen Acacia frozen out.

“Acacia believes that Barrick’s intervention in Acacia’s negotiations with the government of Tanzania, the length of time Barrick’s negotiations with the government of Tanzania have taken and the way they have managed their direct negotiations, have had the effect of undermining Acacia in Tanzania,” the company said in the statement.

Barrick said in a statement last Tuesday it received a three-week extension to make a formal offer to minority shareholders for the roughly 36% stake in Acacia it doesn’t already own. Barrick Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow said in an interview last week that the company didn’t plan to improve its offer for Acacia.

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Different Views

Acacia also said it disagreed with Barrick’s comments on its assets and how long they can be mined for.

“In the Barrick announcement, it was suggested that certain adjustments should be made to Acacia’s life-of-mine plans to reflect significant risks inherent in Acacia’s operations,” Acacia said. “The company strongly disagrees with these views and is unclear on how Barrick can substantiate its proposed adjustments.”

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