Mr. Mark Bristow reports
BARRICK CONFIRMS COMMITMENT TO CHILE AS IT REVIEWS ITS LATIN AMERICAN STRATEGY
Barrick Gold Corp. is reviewing a range of new exploration opportunities and re-evaluating its existing operations and projects in Chile, the company's new president and chief executive officer, Mark Bristow, said today.
Speaking after a meeting with Minister of Mining, Baldo Prokurica, Mr. Bristow said Barrick's Chilean assets were an important part of its global portfolio and noted that the company has recently approved an investment to increase productivity at its jointly owned Zaldivar copper mine. Over the past 10 years, Barrick has spent about $8-billion (U.S.) in Chile on exploration, development, royalties and taxes, wages, and payments to local suppliers.
In the country to review the company's Latin American (LATAM) strategy with its executive team, he said the studies on the Norte Abierto copper and gold joint venture project were advancing, while the Alturas project was making progress. Alturas is located in a very prospective region, and Barrick is currently exploring for further discoveries there.
As far as Pascua-Lama was concerned, he said the focus was on resolving legal, environmental and other issues along with a technical review of the project parameters and future potential. As part of this work, Barrick has conducted extensive geohydrological and geochemical studies for a water management plan through which the natural water flow path can be restored.
"Chile is an investor-friendly country, with a significant mineral endowment, and which encourages the development of mining projects. We believe there are exciting opportunities here, especially in the El Indio region, and we shall be pursuing this in line with our strategy of creating value for all our stakeholders, including the governments, and people, of our host countries," Mr. Bristow said.
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