Barrick Gold announced that restrictions on processing activities at the Veladero mine in San Juan province, Argentina, have been lifted. A local court previously restricted the addition of new reagents to the mine’s heap-leach circuit following the failure of a valve on a pipe carrying cyanide solution at the leach pad, which led to a release of solution.
When the faulty valve was detected, Barrick immediately implemented a comprehensive downstream water-monitoring program. This monitoring, as well as testing results from an independent third-party laboratory, confirmed there are no risks to the health of downstream communities as a result of this incident, according to Barrick. These findings are consistent with independent water testing results released by other third parties in San Juan province, including the Public Health Department and the state water distribution company.
The company said a series of additional preventative measures and controls have been implemented at the leach pad to ensure it is safe to resume full operations. An investigation into the root cause of this incident remains under way.