TORONTO – Barrick Gold
will pay US$140 million to settle a shareholders’ suit over the company’s handling of the Pascua-Lama gold project on the Chile-Argentina border. After spending more than US$5 billion on the project, Barrick halted development in 2013 when a Chilean court issued an injunction to stop alleged environmental violations.
Barrick bought the Pascua-Lama project in 1993. The property straddles the border of Chile and Argentina, necessitating a decade of negotiations to create a treaty that would allow workers to move around the pit without clearing customs as they traveled from one side to the other. The company announced development of an 850,000-oz/y producer in 2009.
The lead plaintiffs in the class action suit alleged that Barrick and certain current and former executives misrepresented the company’s compliance with environmental regulations and the adequacy of the company’s internal controls applied to the Pascua-Lama project.
Barrick has posted some information about Pascua-Lama at www.Barrick.com