Barrick Gold Corp. announced its new Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic has achieved first gold production, with ore now being processed through the first two of four autoclaves. “Bringing this mine successfully into production on schedule, within capital guidance and with an excellent safety record is the result of tremendous efforts from across the company,” said Jamie Sokalsky, president and CEO, Barrick. “Pueblo Viejo is a world-class asset, one of only a handful of mines that will produce more than 1 million oz of gold per year. We expect it to be a major contributor of low cost production to Barrick for decades to come.”

The mine is now proceeding with remaining plant commissioning activities, including the final two autoclaves, with commercial production anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2012. Barrick’s 60% share of 2012 production from Pueblo Viejo is expected to be 100,000-125,000 oz at total cash costs of $400-$500/oz. In its first full five years of operation, Barrick’s share of production is anticipated to be 625,000-675,000 oz at total cash costs of $300-$350/oz.