Boston, MA 07/08/2014 (wallstreetpr) – Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX) has suffered a blow in Chile following the resignation of its Director of Corporate Affairs. Eugenio Ortega Frei resigned from his positions just a month after assuming the important role.
The Company Lamented The Exit Of Frei.
The resignation of Frei was linked to the controversial Pascua Lama project, which has been suspended for a year now because of environmental challenges and uproar among the local communities.
Frei is the husband of the Labor Minister Javiera Blanco. His political connection apparently cost him the job as the media and the public questioned the appointment.
When announcing his resignation from Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) on Saturday, Frei cited family considerations. However, his wife, the labor minister in the government of Bachelet, supported the appointment.
The Pascua Lama Politics
The Pascua Lama project has been soaked in politics and environmental debates. Although Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX) had already spent billions of dollars in the project, it was forced to temporarily halt the project so as to work on compliance with Chile’s environmental regulations.
According to Barrick Gold, the appointment of Frei was part of the efforts by the company to make the new phase of Pascua Lama more transparent. The company cited the enormous professional ability of Frei.
However, Chileans had a different interpretation of the appointment especially given that government connections have often been used to further controversial business agendas before in the country.
Although Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX) regretted the resignation of Frei, the company said its efforts to bring back Pascua Lama to operation will continue. The company is also pursuing efficiency and transparency in the Pascua Lama project with hopes that it will deliver the expected value.
Talk about efficiency and Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (NYSE:ABX) is unloading non-core assets to cut its financial burden while raising funds through the sale of assets to pay down debts.