Barrick Gold Corporation (USA)(NYSE:ABX) reported Pablo Oritja, a judge instructed them that gold leaching at company’s Veladero mine in Argentina will stay suspended until they provide an improved technical maintenance and inspection design after a defective valve resulted in a cyanide leak.
Oritja initially stated a five-day halt to the gold leaching operations, but has now continued with gold leaching suspension indefinitely as a preventive measure. He mentioned that Barrick need to present a plan for making improvements in the safe handling of valves. A company’s spokesman in Argentina didn’t provide any information when asked whether the extended suspension would affect output.
Oritja asked Barrick should constantly monitor its activities to prevent happening of another such instance in the future. The miner stated that the September 13 leak was sensed immediately and also there had been no infectivity of nearby rivers. RBC Capital Markets informed customers in a briefing note that they do not expect the leak incident to have any substantial impact on Barrick’s 2015 costs or production. The mine under question produced as much as 722,000 ounces of yellow metal last year and is expected to contribute almost 10% of company’s 2015 gold output.
The sale of assets
In unrelated news, Barrick reported its plan to sale a package of six gold mines in an attempt to reduce the capital expenditure. Initially, there was buzz that Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM) was interested in the sale offer. However, Newmont CEO Gary Goldberg said that they are not interest in the U.S. assets, but they would definitely consider any offer to acquire a stake in company’s Australian mine. The CEO said that if they were inclined in any sale offer, it won’t be of those specific properties. His indication was clearly towards the goldmines package that Barrick wants to sell in the U.S.