Barrick Gold announced that a mechanical issue at the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic is expected to result in reduced production at the operation until mid-January. Two of three electric motors at the mine’s oxygen plant experienced an unexpected failure on November 19 and have been shipped to a specialized facility in the United States for repair. One motor remains operational. The plant provides the oxygen required for the autoclave processing facility that treats Pueblo Viejo’s refractory ore. Until the damaged motors are repaired, the autoclave facility will operate at a reduced capacity. The cause of the motor failure is currently under investigation.
Taking into account the potential impact of lower production from Pueblo Viejo in the fourth quarter, and based on our current rate of production, Barrick now expects to produce 6-6.15 million oz of gold in 2015 at all-in sustaining costs of $830/oz-$870/oz.
Current estimates indicate repairs can be completed with units back in service by mid-January. While repairs are under way, Pueblo Viejo is bringing forward maintenance activities previously scheduled for January to optimize the processing downtime. Pueblo Viejo has property and machinery breakdown insurance, including business interruption coverage, which is triggered after 30 days.