Barrick Gold proposed an investment of more than $1 billion for Pueblo Viejo gold mine in the Dominican Republic. Already one of the world’s Tier 1 gold mines, the plan is to expand the mine’s processing plant and tailings capacity. The investment could potentially extend the life of the mine into the 2030s and beyond. Barrick said it expects to complete a feasibility study for the expansion project during 2020.

Barrick Gold President and CEO Mark Bristow said the proposed investment was further evidence of the joint-venture partners’ long-term commitment to the social and economic development of the Dominican Republic. “We look forward to continue making a significant and growing contribution to our communities and other stakeholders and to unlocking the enormous value of its mineral potential while addressing the historical third-party environmental issues,” he said.

Barrick manages the mine, which is a joint venture with Newmont Goldcorp.

Bristow noted that the joint-venture partners had already invested $5.2 billion in Pueblo Viejo, which represents almost 20% of the total foreign direct investment in the Dominican Republic over the past 10 years. Direct cash taxes paid by the mine amounted to $1.6 billion, which represents 57% of the cash distributions compared to 43% earned by the joint-venture partners. Since 2013, the mine has accounted for 30% of the country’s exports, and generated a net added value of $5.7 billion and a total net added value of $8.5 billion, equal to 2% of the Dominican gross domestic product.

“Some 96% of the mine’s employees are Dominicans and this has also had a significant impact on the lives of the more than 90,000 people in neighboring communities who have benefited from its community upliftment programs,” Bristow said. “It has also promoted the development of the local economy, spending more than $123 million with local contractors and suppliers over the past six years.”