John Thornton, Barrick Gold’s Executive Chair, said the company may cut more than 400 jobs and involve Chinese partners in its troubled Tanzanian operations. The Toronto based company has already slashed middle management by half to about 700 and wants it to go down to 300.
Thornton who supports a leaner economic partnership, said there is “an almost 100 percent” chance Chinese partners will get involved in Barrick’s projects in Tanzania, which are operated through its 64 percent stake in Acacia Mining. As a result of disputes with the government, Acacia had plummeted 84 percent from its high in 2016.
The government of Tanzania had imposed a ban on exports of mineral concentrates and slapped the miner with a $190 billion tax bill. Thornton however acknowledged that Chinese companies can bring capital, technical expertise and above all, political connections in Africa and Latin America, a feat North American miners cannot match.
Thornton noted that “if I know one thing, I know this is right: we have the thinnest talent in the most difficult areas and we can’t develop all these projects alone”. He said it’s one thing to be a Canadian company, but it’s another to have China as your partner.