February 16, 2018 / 5:49 PM / in 6 months

Acacia, China miners in talks over Tanzania joint venture: sources

VANCOUVER/TORONTO (Reuters) - China’s Shandong Gold Mining Co Ltd and Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd are in separate talks with Acacia Mining Plc to form a joint venture for the London-listed company’s gold mines in Tanzania, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Acacia’s majority shareholder, Barrick Gold Corp is involved in the discussions, the people said.

Acacia, caught in a near year-long fight with the government of Tanzania, has also has held talks with state-owned China National Gold Group about such a partnership, two of the people said, although it was not clear if those talks are ongoing.

If successful, the discussions could lead to a joint venture agreement between Acacia and a Chinese company that would own Acacia’s three mines in the East African country - Bulyanhulu, Buzwagi and North Mara.

The arrangement being discussed is for a 50-50 joint venture, one of the sources said. But the final deal structure

is being negotiated, and questions remain about who would end up operating the asset.

Acacia and Barrick, the world’s biggest gold producer by output, declined to comment. Shandong, Zijin and China National did not respond to requests for comment over the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver and John Tilak in Toronto; Additional reporting by Susan Taylor in Toronto, Zandi Shabalala and Clara Denina in London, and John Ruwitch in Shanghai; Editing by Denny Thomas and Susan Thomas

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