Barrick Gold, the world’s second-largest producer of precious metals, recently said it will put its Peruvian Lagunas Norte under care and maintenance while the mine team evaluates the potential for sulfur resources.
The Toronto-based gold miner has been trying to sell the Lagunas Norte mine since 2017, but conversations with potential buyers have been unsuccessful. The mine’s life span is about to end with a high closure cost incorporated into the selling price.
After a tour through the company’s Latin American operations in January, Barrick’s CEO Mark Bristow decided they would look for a “new plan” for Lagunas Norte and suspended plans to sell their assets in Peru. Another mine in Peru, Pierina, is also marked for closure.
Barrick reserved a $405 million impairment charge in Lagunas Norte last year, resulting in a net loss of $431 million in the September quarter. Production in 2018 totaled 245,000 ounces of gold at a total maintenance cost of $636/oz.