Dominican Republic

Barrick defends Dominican Rep tailings plans

Bnamericas Published: Wednesday, October 05, 2022
Barrick defends Dominican Rep tailings plans

Barrick Gold defended its plans for a new tailings dam at the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic, following concerns about rising maintenance costs.

Toronto-based Barrick is awaiting environmental permits for the new dam to boost tailings capacity at what is Latin America’s biggest gold mine.

The dam is needed for a US$1.3bn expansion at Pueblo Viejo, a 60:40 JV with Newmont, which will extend operations into the 2040s.

Asked about complaints from environmental campaigners regarding rising costs of maintenance of the new dam, Juana Barceló, president of local subsidiary Barrick Pueblo Viejo, said plans are in place for its eventual closure.

Closure plans must be updated every five years under agreements between the company and the government, she was quoted as saying by local daily Diario Libre.

“We know how we are going to close this dam, because we have to make provisions,” Barceló told reporters.

Barrick and Dominican Republic authorities have contracted independent experts to analyze possible locations for the new tailings dam after the company scrapped its original proposal following violent protests last year.

Barrick and Newmont have invested US$6.4bn in the Dominican Republic in initial capex, maintenance and expansion work.

The mine employs about 2,700 workers and accounts for 15% of total foreign direct investment inflows into the country, Barrick CEO Mark Bristow was quoted as saying by El Nuevo Diario.

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