On September 13, 2015, the site identified a valve failure on a leach pad pipeline at the Company’s Veladero mine in San Juan Province, Argentina, resulting in a release of cyanide-bearing process solution into a nearby waterway through a diversion channel gate that was open at the time of the incident.
Minera Argentina Gold S.A. (“MAGSA”), Barrick’s Argentine subsidiary that operates the Veladero mine, notified regulatory authorities of the situation. Environmental monitoring was conducted by MAGSA and independent third parties following the incident. The Company believes this monitoring demonstrates that the incident posed no risk to human health at downstream communities. A temporary court order restriction on the addition of new cyanide to the mine’s processing circuit was lifted on September 24, 2015, and mine operations have returned to normal. Monitoring and inspection of the mine site continue in accordance with a court order.
On March 11, 2016, the San Juan Provincial mining authority announced its intention to impose an administrative fine against MAGSA in connection with the solution release. MAGSA was formally notified of this decision on March 15, 2016. On April 14, 2016, MAGSA paid the administrative fine of approximately $10 million (at the then-applicable Argentine peso/U.S. dollar exchange rate).
Environmental incidents at our operations tend to involve small spills of oils, fuel, and chemical or process solutions. Rapid spill response includes clean-up and recovery, rehabilitation of the impacted areas, and investigation and action to prevent subsequent incidents. In 2015, we had seven spills, including the Veladero incident, which flowed off mine properties or into a watercourse, amounting to 339,090 cubic meters. Barrick also received 11 regulatory enforcement actions with regard to our environmental performance, resulting in a total of $586,060 in fines1.
1This figure does not include the $10M fine for Veladero described above, as the fine was paid in the 2016 fiscal year.
Our vision is the generation of wealth through responsible mining — wealth for our owners, our people, and the countries and communities with which we partner.
By providing your e-mail address, you are consenting to receive press releases and other information concerning Barrick Gold Corporation and its affiliates and partners. You may withdraw your consent at any time.
© 2017 Barrick Gold Corporation© 2017 Barrick Gold Corporation