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Appeals Court Remands Decision to District Court on Cortez Hills Project

December 04, 2009

All amounts expressed in US dollars

Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX)(TSX:ABX) announced that the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit released an opinion on December 3, 2009, with respect to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approval of Barrick's Cortez Hills project in Nevada. The Appeals Court ruled that the order of the District Court denying preliminary injunctive relief and permitting construction of the project is affirmed in part and reversed in part. The Company is currently evaluating the decision and considering its legal options.

The plaintiffs have previously dismissed their Religious Freedom Restoration Act claims, leaving only claims under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and challenges to the federal government's Environmental Impact Statement process. The Appeals Court affirmed the District Court findings in favor of Barrick with respect to FLPMA, agreeing that the plaintiffs have not established a likelihood of success on the merits. However, it also ruled against the government on certain issues associated with the adequacy of its environmental analysis of the project, and directed that the District Court consider appropriate injunctive relief while additional environmental analysis is conducted by BLM on three matters: transportation and treatment of refractory ore, mine dewatering mitigation plans, and particulate emissions. Barrick will co-operate with the BLM to ensure the analysis is redone in the form required by the Appeals Court decision as soon as possible.

The $500 million Cortez Hills Mine has recently begun production of ore from the open pit and initiated a ramp up of the underground operation, which has been in production since early 2009. The Company is evaluating its legal alternatives. It is premature to predict the extent of any potential injunction impact on the timing and completion of construction of Cortez Hills, which is now largely complete. The District Court will have to determine the extent to which any action, including any suspension of operations, may be required to respond to the decision of the Court of Appeals.

BLM approved Barrick's plans for the project in November 2008, after several years of detailed study and extensive public consultation and review. Attorneys representing two activist groups and two Western Shoshone tribes appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals following a January 2009 District Court ruling in favor of the BLM and Barrick.

Barrick's vision is to be the world's best gold company by finding, acquiring, developing and producing quality reserves in a safe, profitable and socially responsible manner.

INVESTOR CONTACT:
Deni Nicoski
Vice President,
Investor Relations
Tel:  (416) 307-7410
Email: 
dnicoski@barrick.com
  MEDIA CONTACT:
Vincent Borg
Executive Vice President,
Corporate Communications
Tel:  (416) 307-7477
Email: 
vborg@barrick.com








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