9 July 2018

Tanzania: Acacia Mining On Track to Reach 2018 Production Target

ACACIA Mining says they are on track to reach its 2018 gold production reduced target of 435,000-475,000 ounces after another strong operating performance in the second quarter.

Acacia, a unit of Canada's Barrick Gold and the country's largest gold miner, said strong operating performance in the second quarter, helped to deliver Group production of 133,778 ounces which led to an increase in the Group's cash balance of US$ 13 million to US$ 120 million.

"In achieving first half production of 254,759 ounces we are on track to achieve the top end of our guidance range of 435,000-475,000 ounces for 2018 and continue to demonstrate the resilience that we have built within our business," said Peter Geleta, Interim Chief Executive Officer in a statement on the second quarter 2018 production results.

The gold mining company said production fell sharply again in the second quarter of the year as a long-dragged row with the government over its operations in Tanzania continues to hit the miner's bottom line as operations in its mines -Bulyanhulu and Buzwagi - were scaled back.

"Acacia is Tanzania's largest gold miner but it has scaled back its operations in the East African country after the government introduced a ban on concentrate exports in March 2017". It means that Acacia's production has dropped more than 40% to 254,759 ounces in the first half of 2018, when compared to the same period lastyear.

The slump is a result of Acacia's forced move to scale back operations in Tanzania due to an ongoing ban on exports of metal concentrate, which represent about a third of the miner's production. The government has made sweeping changes to the mining industry to reap more benefits from minerals.

Last year slapped Acacia, its biggest gold miner, with a $190 billion bill in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest. Acacia said in June Barrick Gold would not provide a new deadline for the completion of talks to end the dispute after failing to meet a mid-year target to do so.

The guidance of between 435,000-475,000 ounces for this year represents a cut of at least 38 per cent compared to 2017.

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