TORONTO – The world’s largest gold mining company has decided to temporarily suspend construction of its troubled Pascua-Lama gold mine that straddles the border between Chile and Argentina.
Barrick said Thursday in its earnings release that the decision to re-start will depend on improved project economics, the outlook for metal prices, and reduced uncertainty associated with legal and regulatory requirements.
Earlier this year, Chile’s environmental regulator stopped construction its side of the border and imposed sanctions on the $8.5 billion mine, citing “serious violations” of its environmental permit. Barrick has already spent $5 billion on the project, which sits 6,400 feet (5,000 metres) above sea level. Barrick had hoped to begin production in early 2014, and previously warned shareholders that it might abandon Pascua’s Chilean side because of construction delays.