The Phaserl


Barrick’s huge Pascua-Lama gold mine start-up now delayed to mid-2016

Soaring capex costs, write-downs, “materially lower metal prices” and schedule delays–caused by environmental problems and litigation–are exacting a serious toll on Barrick’s massive Pascua-Lama gold project.

by Dorothy Kosich,

Barrick’s difficulties with the two-nation, Pascua-Lama gold and silver project continue to amass with the company’s decision to delay start-up until mid-2016, which may alone result in a write-down of as much as $5.5 billion.

Pascua-Lama, which is already billions of dollars over budget, will undergo a “re-sequencing” which will reduce capital expenditures by a total of $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion this year, as well as reduce staffing as project construction is extended over a longer period of time.

The company has submitted a plan to construct the project’s water management systems in compliance with permit conditions for completion by the end of 2014, “after which Barrick expects to complete remaining construction works in Chile, including pre-stripping,” Barrick said in a news release. “Under this scenario, ore from Chile is expected to be available for processing by mid-2016.”

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