Source - PRN

For immediate release

NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN, INTO OR FROM ANY JURISDICTION WHERE TO DO SO WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE RELEVANT LAWS OF SUCH JURISDICTION.

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF A FIRM INTENTION TO MAKE AN OFFER UNDER RULE 2.7 OF THE CITY CODE ON TAKEOVERS AND MERGERS (THE "CODE"). THERE CAN BE NO CERTAINTY THAT ANY FIRM OFFER WILL BE MADE

This announcement contains inside information

21 May 2019

Acacia Mining plc

LSE:ACA

Update on Discussions in Tanzania and Possible Offer from Barrick Gold Corporation

Acacia Mining plc ("Acacia" or the "Company") notes that it has received an update today from Barrick Gold Corporation (“Barrick”) on the status of Barrick’s negotiations with the Government of Tanzania (“GoT”) to seek to identify a proposed resolution to the Company’s disputes with the GoT.  Acacia notes that it continues to be excluded from the discussions between Barrick and the GoT.

Barrick informed the Company that it has made significant progress towards finalising a proposed resolution, and provided the Company with a set of documents which it has indicated have been extensively negotiated but not yet finalised.

Barrick has also provided the Company today with a letter from the Acting Chairman of the GoT negotiating team who have been in discussions with Barrick, dated 19th May 2019, addressed to the Company’s three operating companies, Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Limited, North Mara Gold Mine Limited and Pangea Minerals Limited.  This letter states that the GoT is resolved that it will not execute final agreements for the resolution of the Company’s disputes if the Company is one of the counterparties to the agreements, and that it will only sign such agreements "if satisfied that substantial changes have been made to the management style of the Operating Companies and of their shareholders". 

The Company also notes that it has received today an indicative proposal from Barrick to acquire all the issued and to be issued share capital of the Company not already owned or controlled by Barrick.  The consideration would be in the form of new common shares in Barrick, with Acacia shareholders receiving 0.153 of a new common share of Barrick for every ordinary share in Acacia.  

The Board is considering these developments, and will be taking steps to seek clarification of the GoT’s position. A further announcement will be made in due course.  In the meantime, Acacia shareholders are strongly advised to take no action.

This announcement is being made without the consent or approval of Barrick.

There can be no certainty that any offer will be made.

In accordance with Rule 2.6(a) of the Code, Barrick must, by not later than 5.00 p.m. on 18 June 2019, either announce a firm intention to make an offer for Acacia in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code or announce that it does not intend to make an offer, in which case the announcement will be treated as a statement to which Rule 2.8 of the Code applies. This deadline will only be extended with the consent of the UK Takeover Panel in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the Code.

ENQUIRIES

For further information, please visit our website: www.acaciamining.com or contact.

Acacia Mining plc                                                                                                                +44 (0) 20 7129 7150

Sally Marshak, Head of Investor Relations and Communications  

Camarco                                                                                                                               +44 (0) 20 3757 4980

Gordon Poole / Nick Hennis

J.P. Morgan Cazenove (Joint Lead Financial Adviser and Broker):                             +44 (0) 20 7742 4000

Barry Weir

James Robinson

Dimitri Reading-Picopoulos

RBC Capital Markets (Joint Lead Financial Adviser and Broker):                                +44 (0) 20 7489 1188

Kevin Smith

Paul Betts

Vicky Liu

Lazard & Co., Limited (Financial Adviser to the Independent Committee of Acacia Mining plc):

Spiro Youakim                                                                                                                      +44 (0)20 7187 2000

William Lawes                                                                                                                     

Relevant securities in issue

Under Rule 2.9 of the Code, Acacia confirms that, as at the date of this announcement, it has in issue 410,085,499 ordinary shares of 10 pence nominal value each. The International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) of the shares is GB00B61D2N63.

Rule 26.1 Disclosure

In accordance with Rule 26.1 of the Code, a copy of this announcement will be available on Acacia’s website at www.Acaciamining.com. The content of the website referred to in this announcement is not incorporated into and does not form part of this announcement.

Disclosure requirements of the Takeover Code (the “Code”):

Under Rule 8.3(a) of the Code, any person who is interested in 1% or more of any class of relevant securities of an offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror (being any offeror other than an offeror in respect of which it has been announced that its offer is, or is likely to be, solely in cash) must make an Opening Position Disclosure following the commencement of the offer period and, if later, following the announcement in which any securities exchange offeror is first identified.

An Opening Position Disclosure must contain details of the person’s interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any securities exchange offeror(s). An Opening Position Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(a) applies must be made by no later than 3.30pm (London time) on the 10th business day following the commencement of the offer period and, if appropriate, by no later than 3.30pm (London time) on the 10th business day following the announcement in which any securities exchange offeror is first identified. Relevant persons who deal in the relevant securities of the offeree company or of a securities exchange offeror prior to the deadline for making an Opening Position Disclosure must instead make a Dealing Disclosure.

Under Rule 8.3(b) of the Code, any person who is, or becomes, interested in 1% or more of any class of relevant securities of the offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror must make a Dealing Disclosure if the person deals in any relevant securities of the offeree company or of any securities exchange offeror. A Dealing Disclosure must contain details of the dealing concerned and of the person’s interests and short positions in, and rights to subscribe for, any relevant securities of each of (i) the offeree company and (ii) any securities exchange offeror(s), save to the extent that these details have previously been disclosed under Rule 8. A Dealing Disclosure by a person to whom Rule 8.3(b) applies must be made by no later than 3.30pm (London time) on the business day following the date of the relevant dealing.

If two or more persons act together pursuant to an agreement or understanding, whether formal or informal, to acquire or control an interest in relevant securities of an offeree company or a securities exchange offeror, they will be deemed to be a single person for the purpose of Rule 8.3.

Opening Position Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company and by any offeror and Dealing Disclosures must also be made by the offeree company, by any offeror and by any persons acting in concert with any of them (see Rules 8.1, 8.2 and 8.4).

Details of the offeree and offeror companies in respect of whose relevant securities Opening Position Disclosures and Dealing Disclosures must be made can be found in the Disclosure Table on the Takeover Panel’s website at www.thetakeoverpanel.org.uk, including details of the number of relevant securities in issue, when the offer period commenced and when any offeror was first identified. You should contact the Panel’s Market Surveillance Unit on +44 (0)20 7638 0129 if you are in any doubt as to whether you are required to make an Opening Position Disclosure or a Dealing Disclosure.

Further Information:

J.P. Morgan Limited, which conducts its UK investment banking business as J.P. Morgan Cazenove ("J.P. Morgan Cazenove"), is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority. J.P. Morgan Cazenove is acting as financial adviser exclusively for Acacia and no one else in connection with the matters set out in this announcement and will not regard any other person as its client in relation to the matters in this announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Acacia for providing the protections afforded to clients of J.P. Morgan Cazenove, nor for providing advice in relation to any matter referred to herein.

RBC Europe Limited (trading as RBC Capital Markets), which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority in the United Kingdom, is acting for Acacia and no one else in connection with the matters referred to in this announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Acacia for providing the protections afforded to clients of RBC Capital Markets, or for providing advice in connection with the matters referred to in this announcement.

Lazard & Co., Limited (“Lazard”), which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority, is acting exclusively for the Independent Committee of Acacia Mining plc and for no one else in connection with the matters set out in this announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than the Independent Committee of Acacia Mining plc for providing the protections afforded to clients of Lazard nor for providing advice in relation to the matters referred to in this announcement. Neither Lazard nor any of its affiliates owes or accepts any duty, liability or responsibility whatsoever (whether direct or indirect, whether in contract, in tort, under statute or otherwise) to any person who is not a client of Lazard in connection with this announcement, any statement contained herein or otherwise.

About ACACIA

Acacia Mining plc (LSE:ACA) is the UK holding company of the Acacia Group, Tanzania’s largest gold miner and one of the largest producers of gold in Africa. The Acacia Group has three mines, all located in north-west Tanzania: Bulyanhulu, which is owned and operated by Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Limited, Buzwagi, which is owned and operated by Pangea Minerals Limited and North Mara, which is owned and operated by North Mara Gold Mine Limited. The Acacia Group also has a portfolio of exploration projects in Kenya, Burkina Faso and Mali. Acacia Mining plc is a UK public company headquartered in London. It is listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange with a secondary listing on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange. Barrick Gold Corporation is the majority shareholder of Acacia Mining plc.

Disclaimer and forward-looking statements

This announcement is for information purposes only and does not constitute an invitation or offer to underwrite, subscribe for or otherwise acquire or dispose of any securities of Acacia in any jurisdiction. This announcement includes “forward-looking statements” that express or imply expectations of future events or results as opposed to historical facts. These statements include, financial projections and estimates and their underlying assumptions, statements regarding plans, objectives and expectations with respect to future production, operations, costs, projects, and statements regarding future performance. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words “plans,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “intends,” “estimates” and other similar expressions. All forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of Acacia, which could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements contained herein. Factors that could cause or contribute to differences between the actual results, performance and achievements of Acacia include, but are not limited to, changes or developments in political, economic or business conditions or national or local legislation or regulation in countries in which Acacia conducts - or may in the future conduct - business, industry trends, competition, fluctuations in the spot and forward price of gold or certain other commodity prices (such as copper and diesel), currency fluctuations (including the US dollar, South African rand, Kenyan shilling and Tanzanian shilling exchange rates), Acacia’s ability to successfully integrate acquisitions, Acacia’s ability to recover its reserves or develop new reserves, including its ability to convert its resources into reserves and its mineral potential into resources or reserves, and to process its mineral reserves successfully and in a timely manner, Acacia’s ability to complete land acquisitions required to support its mining activities, operational or technical difficulties which may occur in the context of mining activities, delays and technical challenges associated with the completion of projects, risk of trespass, theft and vandalism, changes in Acacia’s business strategy and ongoing implementation of operational reviews, as well as risks and hazards associated with the business of mineral exploration, development, mining and production and risks and factors affecting the gold mining industry in general. Although Acacia’s management believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, Acacia cannot give assurances that such statements will prove to be correct. Accordingly, investors should not place reliance on forward-looking statements contained in this announcement. Any forward-looking statements in this announcement only reflect information available at the time of preparation. Save as required under the Market Abuse Regulation or otherwise as may be required under applicable law, Acacia explicitly disclaims any obligation or undertaking publicly to update or revise any forward-looking statements in this announcement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Nothing in this announcement should be construed as a profit forecast or estimate and no statement made should be interpreted to mean that Acacia’s profits or earnings per share for any future period will necessarily match or exceed its historical published profits or earnings per share.