Barrick Gold restarted normal operations at the Veladero mine in Argentina following approval from San Juan provincial authorities. Operations at the mine were suspended on September 15, a week after falling ice damaged a pipe carrying process solution in the leach pad area, causing some material to leave the leach pad. This material, primarily crushed ore saturated with process solution, was contained on the mine site and returned to the leach pad. The company said extensive water monitoring in the area has confirmed the incident did not result in any environmental impacts. Barrick has completed the remedial work required by provincial authorities designed to prevent such an incident from reoccurring, including increasing the height of the perimeter berms that surround the leach pad.
As normal operations resume, the company will continue to assess the impact of the temporary suspension on Veladero’s production for 2016. However, Barrick continues to expect total gold production for 2016 in the range of 5-5.5 million ounces (oz) at all-in sustaining costs of $750/oz-$790/oz.