Canadian Mining Journal


GOLD: Sanction terms revised on Barrick’s Pascua-Lama project

TORONTO – On Jan. 17, 2017, Chile’s Superintendencia del Medio Ambiente (SMA) revised its sanction on Barrick Gold’s Pascua-Lama gold project that straddles the border of Chile and Argentina. The project is currently operating  under a temporary closure plan in Chile.

The Pascua-Lama gold project straddles the Chile-Argentina border high in the Andes Mountains. (Image: Barrick Gold)

The revised sanction includes a reduction of the original administrative fine imposed by the SMA in 2013, from approximately $16 million to $11.5 million. Based on a preliminary review of the resolution, the SMA has not revoked Pascua-Lama’s environmental permit, but it has ordered the closure of existing facilities on the Chilean side of the project, in addition to certain monitoring activities. Barrick says it will complete a detailed analysis of these requirements and will provide further details in due course.

Barrick has begun a pre-feasibility study for an underground mine at Lama. The study will evaluate low cost bulk mining methods to recover higher value ore on the Argentinean side of the border. Eventually, development could be expanded to include ore from the Chilean side of the border, but that would be subject to additional permitting by the government of Chile.

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