Northwestern Argentina Minera Argentina Gold, a subsidiary of BARRICK GOLD, has ordered $70-million worth of open pit equipment from Vancouver-based FINNING INTERNATIONAL.
The sale includes 35 pieces of Caterpillar equipment: 16 Cat 793C haul trucks, five D10R dozers, two 994D wheel loaders, three 16H graders, and support equipment. The deal also includes some non-Cat drilling equipment. Most of the vehicles will be delivered by the end of this year. Finning has also secured a complete five-year maintenance and repair contract, estimated to be worth $84 million.
The Veladera gold mine, where the equipment will be used, is located near the Pascua-Lama project in the Andes Mountains straddling the Chile/Argentina border. The Veladera feasibility study, recommending a valley-fill heap leach with two-stage crushing similar to the Pierina mine, was completed in Q3 2002. Costs are estimated to be $425 million. Veladera will produce 530,000 oz of gold annually for 13 years at an average cash cost of $155/oz. Production will begin in early 2006, and two years later Pascua-Lama will come onstream. Minable reserves at Veladera are estimated at 254 million tons grading 0.037 opt Au.
To learn about the entire line of Finning equipment, parts and services, visit www.finning.ca.