BUENOS AIRES/TORONTO – Argentina mining officials told Barrick Gold Corp it must overhaul environmental and operating processes at its Veladero mine, following last week’s cyanide solution spill, while the country’s environment ministry asked for a total suspension of operations, according to statements on Friday.
National and provincial officials told Barrick executives at a Thursday meeting that the Canadian company’s ongoing business in the country hinges on a new working plan for the open pit mine, the country’s energy minister said.
A pipe carrying cyanide solution ruptured at the open pit mine on March 28, the third incident at the mine in 18 months involving cyanide-bearing solution. A Barrick spokesman said the meetings were constructive.
“We have told the company to change their standards and invest, modify the project’s engineering to ensure these incidents never happen again,” Energy and Mining Minister Juan Jose Aranguren told Reuters in an interview on Friday.
He said the company’s concession to operate the mine would have been at risk if it had not agreed to an external audit on Thursday.
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