Exclusive: Barrick’s Argentina mine may be allowed full operations in June – by Maximiliano Rizzi (Reuters U.S. – May 22, 2017)

http://www.reuters.com/

BUENOS AIRES – The government of Argentina’s San Juan province has approved a plan for improving Barrick Gold Corp’s Veladero mine following its third spill of cyanide solution in 18 months and could allow full operations to resume in early June, a government official said.

Eduardo Machuca, the province’s secretary of environmental management and mining control, told Reuters in a phone interview that local authorities had reviewed and discussed Barrick’s improvement plan and improvements to the mine were well under way.

“I think that around June 10 there will be conditions to enable the mine, once the pneumatic, hydraulic and all engineering tests are done,” Machuca said on Monday.

Local judge Pablo Oritja would also need to green light a return to full operations at the mine, which has been banned from adding cyanide to the gold processing facility since pipes broke on March 28.

Oritja told Reuters earlier this month Barrick appeared to have missed deadlines on three orders from local authorities before the latest spill. Barrick could have prevented the incident and will eventually face sanctions, he said.

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