LONDON, June 19 African Barrick Gold Plc
, the Tanzania-focused subsidiary of Canadian gold
company Barrick Gold Corp on Thursday dismissed
accusations of illegal payments made to Tanzanian officials,
where it operates the North Mara mine.
"Both African Barrick Gold (ABG) and Barrick Gold Corporation
are committed to ethical and transparent business practices in
compliance with the law," African Barrick said in response to a
Wall Street Journal article that reported accusations the gold
miner had paid $400,000 in cash to bribe Tanzanian government
officials and consultants responsible for valuing the land.
African Barrick said it provides "modest financial support"
to government officials taking part in valuing land that it
might wish to acquire, in line with standard rates provided by
"Cash is often the only viable method of payment because in
many regions of the country, banking infrastructure and services
are extremely limited, or sometimes not available at all," it
"All such payments are carefully documented, monitored and
African Barrick also said it hired a U.S. law firm to review
payments made to the Land Task Force which concluded that it has
acted appropriately in all instances, under Tanzanian, U.S., and
Barrick Gold reduced its stake in African Barrick to around
64 percent in March from 74 percent before.
(Reporting by Silvia Antonioli; editing by Clive McKeef)