Investor lawsuits stack up against Barrick Gold over ‘misleading statements’ on cyanide spill in Argentina – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – May 19, 2017)

A number of class action lawsuits have been filed against Barrick Gold, alleging the world’s largest gold miner misled shareholders about the fallout of its most recent cyanide spill at a flagship mine in Argentina.

The class actions claim the company misled shareholders in public statements it made after a March rupture of a pipeline carrying a gold-cyanide solution at its Veladero mine in Argentina — the third spill at that mine’s leach pad in two years. Cyanide is used at mine sites to separate gold from the ore.

“Barrick Gold and certain of its senior executive officers made a series of materially false and misleading statements to investors about the Veladero mine and the company’s outlook and expected financial performance,” alleges the latest suit, filed Thursday by Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check LLP.

In the immediate aftermath of the pipeline rupture the company said it did not expect the incident to have a material impact on its bottom line, despite the fact that provincial authorities in Argentina had placed restrictions on its operations.

Barrick declined to comment on the litigation. Argentina’s provincial authorities have told the company it must overhaul practices and temporarily suspended it from adding cyanide to its leach pad, pending a review of a proposed plan to improve operating systems at the mine.

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