ENVIRONMENTAL APPROVAL: Barrick receives okay for Cortez Hills

NEVADA — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved the environmental impact statement for Barrick...

NEVADA — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has approved the environmental impact statement for Barrick Gold's Cortez Hills project 100 km southwest of Elko. The Toronto miner is sole-owner of the Cortez project where the Pipeline and South Pipeline deposits are being mined by conventional open pit methods.


The Cortez Hills project, located 4 km from the original Cortez milling complex, is under development. Gold production from Cortez Hills and the Pipeline mines are expected to be about 950,000 to 1.0 million oz for the first full five years that Cortez Hills is in operation. Start-up is planned for the first half of 2010. Pre-production costs at Cortez Hills are estimated to be about $500 million for two open pits and development of twin exploration declines to delineate the underground potential.


Barrick noted that the Cortez Hills project has been under fire from activists who oppose mining and support failed claims of Native American to much of Nevada's public lands. These groups are expected to go to court in an attempt to overturn the BLM's approval.


In a related development, Barrick recently signed a historic collaborative agreement with leaders of several Western Shoshone communities in Nevada. The agreement enables Barrick and these communities to work together in partnership to improve education, business and employment opportunities for the Western Shoshone, enhance awareness of Native culture and to build greater mutual understanding. The collaborative agreement also establishes a Western Shoshone Educational Legacy Fund tied directly to revenues from the Cortez Hills mine. The fund is expected to provide financial support for generations of Western Shoshone seeking higher education.


To learn more about Barrick's Cortez Hills projects or any of its worldwide mines, visit www.Barrick.com.


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