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Barrick Gold to take US$429-million charge on Pascua-Lama project

Last Updated Feb 7, 2018 at 12:00 pm EDT

El Corral, a village of 200 inhabitants, mostly from the Diaguita ethnic group, located just downstream from the world's highest gold mine, Barrick Gold Corp's Pascua-Lama project in northern Chile, is seen on May 23, 2013. Barrick Gold Corp. says it expects to take a US$429-million charge following an order by the Chilean government to close all surface facilities at its troubled Pascua-Lama project high in the Andes mountains. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jorge Saenz

TORONTO – Barrick Gold Corp. says it expects to take a US$429-million charge following an order by the Chilean government to close all surface facilities at its troubled Pascua-Lama project high in the Andes mountains.

The gold miner says it is reclassifying Pascua-Lama’s 14 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves, which are based on an open pit mine plan, as measured and indicated resources.

Barrick is studying the potential of developing Pascua-Lama as an underground mining operation, rather than an open pit.

It says the change would address a number of concerns by reducing the overall environmental impacts.

The project, which straddles the Chile-Argentina border, has been criticized for threatening water supplies and glaciers.

Barrick says it will provide a further update on the Pascua-Lama project at the company’s investor day on Feb. 22.

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