Barrick Gold and AngloGold Ashanti (AGA): profiting from deception and depriving Tanzania

This report is part of our former “Harmful Cases” documentation, where we continuously and concisely recorded human rights violations, violations of international law or environmental destruction caused by companies.

Fraud and tax avoidance Tanzania

Tanzania, located atop 45 million ounce of gold, economically valued at US$39 billion, is Africa’s third largest gold producer. Barrick Gold and AGA are primarily involved in operating Tanzania’s gold mines, with exports amounting to US$2.5 billion in gold during the past five years while the government has accrued just US$21–US$22 million per annum on average.

According to a report by Tanzanian lawyer Tundu Lissu, and British historian, Mark Curtis, Barrick Gold did not declare payments in royalties and taxes to the government. AGA, producing 3 million ounces of gold from the Geita mine, valued at US$1.43 billion at current gold prices, paid taxes only averaging US$13 million per year. Also the report reveals that both companies did not pay corporation tax, while consistently declaring losses despite making heavy capital investments.
A leaked report of US auditing firm Alex Stewart Assayers, contracted by the Tanzanian government in 2003, revealed that four gold mining companies, including Barrick and AGA, deprived the government of US$132 million via tax avoidance, by overstating losses of US$502 million from 1999-2003.

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Pambazuka News