The headframe at the Bulyanhulu mine in Tanzania sits idle until an agreement can be reached. (Photo: Acacia)

After weeks of negotiations, Barrick Gold Corp. and Acacia Mining have reached an agreement for Barrick to purchase the remaining 36.1% stake of Acacia it does not currently own. The acquisition will be implemented by means of a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement. Under the new offer, Barrick will buy the more than 410 million shares for $428 million and a total value of $1.19 billion.

This agreement is an increase from what Barrick previously offered in May. At that time, Barrick offered 0.153 Barrick shares for each Acacia share. This time, it increased that to 0.168 Barrick shares.

After the initial offer, Acacia said, “the proposal appears to have ignored the value of the company’s portfolio of exploration and development assets, and the strategic value of the company’s preemption rights pursuant to the relationship agreement between Acacia and Barrick.”

Acacia believed a buyout was an “attractive solution” for all stakeholders, but felt the offer price was unfair.

The takeover comes after two years of disputes between Acacia and the Tanzania government over a $190 billion tax bill issued to the company. Barrick has been negotiating with the government to reach a settlement and establish a viable framework where Acacia could resume its full operations in Tanzania. Barrick said a basis for a settlement has been developed, but not finalized. It added that the government wasn’t prepared to enter into a settlement directly with Acacia. Acacia has been kept out of discussions between Barrick and the government.

Barrick said the relationship between the two is so damaged, “it is no longer possible for Acacia to continue to function as an independent public company, with substantially all of its value represented by assets in Tanzania.”

The Acacia Group has three mines, all located in northwest Tanzania: Bulyanhulu, which is owned and operated by Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Ltd., Buzwagi, which is owned and operated by Pangea Minerals Ltd., and North Mara, which is owned and operated by North Mara Gold Mine Ltd. The Acacia Group also has a portfolio of exploration projects in Kenya, Burkina Faso and Mali.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019.