AFRICAN BARRICK GOLD PLC: Lifting of EPO and Update on VAT Receivable
AFRICAN BARRICK GOLD PLC: Lifting of EPO and Update on VAT Receivable 10 December 2013
African Barrick Gold plc (the "Company" or "ABG")
Lifting of EPO at North Mara and Update on VAT Receivable
ABG is pleased to announce the completion of the final step in the lifting of the Environmental Protection Order ("EPO") that has been in force at North Mara since 2009 and the receipt of a formal discharge permit from the Lake Victoria Water Board. The award of the discharge permit follows the completion of an extensive joint water sampling programme, rehabilitation of affected areas, a community awareness programme and the commissioning of a water treatment plant at the mine. The removal of the EPO now allows ABG to discharge clean water once it has been treated in the water treatment plant at the mine.
With respect to the recovery of VAT receivables to which we are entitled, the progress seen since the start of the current quarter has continued. Following the US$4.8 million of VAT refunds in early October, announced with our Third Quarter results, we received a further US$3.1 million of VAT refunds in October and have subsequently received a further US$5.2 million of refunds in November. In addition to this, we have received the first disbursement of US$2.0 million from the Escrow facility in relation to VAT on Imports for July 2013 and are working to ensure further disbursements occur on a monthly basis going forward. This is an important step forward in resolving this issue and we are now focused on advancing discussions with the Tanzanian Revenue Authorities to reach a similar solution for VAT levied on domestic goods and services.
Brad Gordon, CEO of African Barrick Gold said; "We are delighted to have completed the lifting of the EPO at North Mara. This is the culmination of significant investment at the mine and recognises our ability to discharge clean and safe water which will benefit both the mine and the communities living around it. We are also pleased to be making good progress in preventing a further build-up in the VAT receivable and are working towards reducing the overall receivable as we move through 2014."
For further information contact:
African Barrick Gold plc +44 (0)207 129 7150
Andrew Wray, Chief Financial Officer Giles Blackham, Investor Relations Manager
Bell Pottinger +44 (0)207 861 3232
Charlie Vivian Daniel Thöle
ABG is Tanzania's largest gold producer and one of the five largest gold producers in Africa. We have three producing mines, all located in Northwest Tanzania, and several exploration projects at various stages of development in Tanzania and Kenya. We have a high-quality asset base, solid growth opportunities and a clear strategy of optimising, expanding and growing our business.
Maintaining our licence to operate through acting responsibly in relation to our people, the environment and the communities in which we operate is central to achieving our objectives.
ABG is a UK public company with its headquarters in London. We are listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange under the symbol ABG and have a secondary listing on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange. ABG reports in US dollars in accordance with IFRS as adopted by the European Union, unless otherwise stated in this announcement.
-0- Dec/10/2013 07:00 GMT