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Barrick warns Pueblo Viejo mining will end this year without new TSF

Barrick Gold has repeated a warning that mining could finish this year at its Pueblo Viejo joint venture with Newmont in the Dominican Republic.
Barrick warns Pueblo Viejo mining will end this year without new TSF Barrick warns Pueblo Viejo mining will end this year without new TSF Barrick warns Pueblo Viejo mining will end this year without new TSF Barrick warns Pueblo Viejo mining will end this year without new TSF Barrick warns Pueblo Viejo mining will end this year without new TSF

The Barrick Gold-operated Pueblo Viejo gold operation in the Dominican Republic

Staff reporter

It said mining hinged on approval for a new tailings storage facility (TSF), part of a planned US$1.3 billion expansion expected to take the mine life beyond 2040 and support annual production of more than 800,000 ounces annually on a 100% basis.

Barrick and key stakeholders had agreed in August to an independent government-led oversight of the strategic environmental and social impact assessment studies for the new TSF.

"Without a tailings storage facility, mining would end in 2021 and production in 2030," Barrick said at a presentation in the Dominican Republic this week.

Barrick had responded to accusations made by Earthworks, Global Justice Clinic and MiningWatch Canada about the proposed expansion in May, saying "their deprecation is unfounded".

President and CEO Mark Bristow said this week Pueblo Viejo's management had been very successful in addressing the environmental liabilities left by the mine's former operator, significantly improving the water quality of the two nearby rivers.

He said they were continuing to advance the life-extension project.

"Pueblo Viejo's expansion project has the potential to double the enormous contribution it has already made to the Dominican Republic's economy," Bristow said.

He said it had paid $522 million in direct and indirect taxes this year, taking total payments since starting commercial production in 2013 to almost $3 billion.

"Without this project, however, that contribution could end soon," he said.

Barrick operates the mine in a 60:40 joint venture with Newmont and expected attributable production of 470,000-510,000oz this year at all-in sustaining costs of $760-$810/oz.

Barrick shares are down 16% year-to-date. They closed up 0.25% yesterday to C$23.92 to capitalise it at $42.5 billion (US$34.5 billion).