Dec 19 (Reuters) – Acacia Mining Plc said on Tuesday it would sell its 2 percent royalty over the Houndé Mine in Burkina Faso for $45 million to Sandstorm Gold Ltd.

The deal is expected to close early in the first quarter of 2018.

Acacia, whose three producing gold mines are in Tanzania, has been hit by changes in mining laws that have dented the investment appeal of companies operating in countries such as South Africa and Tanzania, where nations feel they are not reaping the benefits of their minerals.

Barrick Gold, the world’s biggest gold miner and 63.9 percent owner of Acacia, struck a deal with the Tanzanian government in October to end a dispute, part of which involved Acacia making a $300 million payment to the east African country.

Acacia said then it could not immediately afford the payment.

The sale will help bolster the company’s balance sheet as the concentrate export ban in Tanzania enters its second year, Jefferies analysts wrote in a note on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely)

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