Barrick accepts Environmental Court ruling, continues to seek new opportunities in Chile
SANTIAGO, Chile, Sept. 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:GOLD) (TSX:ABX) said today it accepted the Antofagasta Environmental Court’s decision to uphold the closure order and sanctions Chile’s environmental regulator imposed on Compañía Minera Nevada, the Barrick subsidiary that holds the Chilean portion (Pascua) of the Pascua-Lama project.
Barrick said the ruling drew a line under a legal process that started in 2013 and the company would not appeal it. Construction was suspended that year and Pascua would now be transitioned from care and maintenance to closure in accordance with the Environmental Court’s decision.
Following the ruling, Marcelo Álvarez, Barrick’s executive director for Chile and Argentina, said Pascua-Lama remained an important project and work is already under way to re-evaluate its potential. This involves a comprehensive internal review of its technical, economic and social aspects as well as different approaches to permitting and development should the ongoing studies deliver a project that meets Barrick’s investment filters. He confirmed that any new project development would comply with current legislation in both Chile and Argentina.
“Barrick is a very different company since its merger with Randgold and we now have a strong focus on establishing good relations with the communities and authorities,” he said.
“Barrick sees great potential in a region that has always encouraged the development of sustainable mining projects, and is committed to further investment in Chile and Argentina and to building productive partnerships with the government, business associates and communities. As elsewhere in the Barrick group, we will ensure that the economic benefits we create are shared equitably with our stakeholders and that our operations are conducted with due care for health, safety and the environment.”
While the project was suspended, Pascua-Lama continued to treat and monitor water quality in order to meet its environmental commitments. The Environmental Court acknowledged that none of the earlier infringements which prompted the closure order had caused irreparable damage.
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Kathy du Plessis
Barrick investor and media relations
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Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Information
Certain information contained in this press release, including any information as to Barrick’s strategy, projects, plans or future financial or operating performance, constitutes “forward-looking statements”. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. The words “continue”, “seek”, “focus”, “establish”, “encourage”, “potential”, “commitment”, “ensure”, “would” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. In particular, this press release contains forward-looking statements including, without limitation, with respect to: Barrick’s strategy for the Pascua-Lama project including with respect to the project’s transition from care and maintenance to closure; the decision not to appeal the decision from the Environmental Court; ongoing water treatment and monitoring and environmental compliance; the re-evaluation of Pascua-Lama’s potential including a review of the project’s approach to permitting and development; future investments in Chile and Argentina and potential partnerships and contributions to local economies; and future health, safety and environmental performance.