Canadian Mining Journal


ENVIRONMENT: Barrick to convert Pueblo Viejo power plant to natural gas

The site of the Pueblo Viejo gold mine and mineral processing facilities. (Image: Barrick Gold)

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Barrick Gold of Toronto has signed a 10-year natural gas supply contact with a local company to fuel the Quisqueya power generation plant that supplies the Pueblo Viejo gold mine 100 km northwest of Santo Domingo. The mine is a joint venture of Barrick (60%) and Goldcorp (40%).

The power plant, owned by the joint venture, current burns heavy oil. Converting it – at a price of US$7.5 million – is expected to reduce the mine’s cost of sales and all-in sustaining costs by as much as US$54 per oz. over the life of the mine. The savings include sales of excess power to the national grid. The use of natural gas is to begin in the second half of 2019.

As well as saving money, using natural gas is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the mine by about 260,000 carbon dioxide equivalent tonnes per year.

The Pueblo Viejo mine produced 650,000 oz. of gold in 2017 and has approximately 12 million oz. of contained gold in proven and probable reserves. A project to expand mineral processing capacity is in the pre-feasibility stage.

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