LONDON (Reuters) - Global miners Glencore and Barrick Gold expect to receive a prospecting license for a nickel joint venture in Tanzania after the government canceled its retention license, Barrick said.
The retention license of the undeveloped Kabanga nickel project was one of 11 licenses canceled as part of enforcement of a new mining regulations which were approved in January.
Retention licenses are granted to mining companies that want to hold the rights to a deposit, but cannot develop that area immediately due to technical constraints, adverse market conditions or other economic factors.
“In order to transition to the new license structure implemented in January, the project partners have applied for a Prospecting License covering the same area as the Retention License,” Barrick said in a statement.
The company said it had been in talks with Barrick and the government in recent months over the Kabanga project. The companies expect to receive the prospecting license but did not provide a timeline.
Tanzania is seeking a bigger slice of the pie from its vast mineral resources by overhauling the fiscal and regulatory regime of its mining sector.
The canceled retention license was due to expire in 2019, Barrick said, adding that a prospecting license would be valid for four years.
Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; editing by Jason Neely