Shareholders in Acacia Mining have clubbed through a suggestion to sell the business to its biggest part-owner Barrick Gold, a move which could end a two-year standoff with the Tanzanian government.
Investors owning more than 99.9 per cent of the shares in Acacia voted for the proposal at a meeting starting midday today.
It means that Acacia, which was spun off from Barrick in 2010 will come back under the watchful eye of the Canadian giant – the world’s largest gold company.
The news follows more than two years of back-and-forth with the Tanzanian government, over an allegedly unpaid tax bill.
In 2017 President John Magufuli accused Acacia of under-reporting the amount of gold in the ore it was exporting from the country, and slapped it with a $190bn tax bill.
Facing a ban on exporting its ore, the company, and later Barrick, tried to negotiate with Magufuli’s regime. Earlier this year Barrick reached an agreement which would let Acacia start exporting again, but only if it was no longer an independent company.
After the deal, Barrick made a bid to take Acacia private.
Originally known as African Barrick Gold, Acacia was listed on the London exchange separately from Barrick in 2010 as it did not fit into the company’s focus on other geographies. However last year Barrick merged with Randgold Resources, giving it a stronger foothold in Africa.