Barrick Gold Corp.’s third cyanide spill in two years at its Argentine operation was among a number of environmental and social concerns that took centre stage at its annual general meeting Tuesday, the stock’s worst day in six months.
Barrick president Kelvin Dushnisky told shareholders that a cyanide pipeline rupture on Mar.28 at its Veladero mine posed no risk to people or the environment.
“However, this was the third incident at Veladero leach pad in the last 18 months and that is completely unacceptable,” Dushnisky said. “These incidents weaken our partnerships and the trust that underpin them.”
The company has slashed its production forecast and hiked costs at the mine, calling the spill a severe setback after previously maintaining the spill would not have a material impact on its results.
The world’s largest gold producer told shareholders it has presented Argentine authorities with a “comprehensive plan,” to improve operating systems at the mine, which will include skills training and investing in digital infrastructure.
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