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Barrick's Argentina Mine Shut Down After Another Spill


A provincial government in Argentina has ordered Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX,ABX.TO) to suspend some activities at the Veladero gold and silver mine after the Canadian mining company reported its third spill at the mine in two years.

On Wednesday, Barrick said that the government of San Juan province in Argentina temporarily restricted the addition of cyanide to the Veladero mine's heap leach facility pending the verification that its remedial works have been completed. The company is working to complete this remediation as quickly as possible.

Barrick said that on the evening of March 28, a pipeline at its Veladero mine had sprung a leak, spilling liquid used in the mining process. The monitoring system at Veladero detected a rupture of a pipe carrying gold-bearing solution on the leach pad.

However, Barrick added that all solution was contained within the operating site and no solution reached any diversion channels or watercourses. The company then promptly notified San Juan provincial authorities and they inspected the site.

"The safety of people and the environment remains Barrick's top priority. The incident did not pose any threat to the health of employees, communities, or the environment," Barrick said.

Further, Barrick said it currently does not anticipate a material impact to its 2017 production guidance.

In September 2016, Barrick said that the government of San Juan province announced a temporary suspension of operations at the Veladero mine after a pipe carrying process solution in the heap leach area was damaged when it was struck by a large block of ice. Normal operations were resumed at the mine in early October.

One year prior to that, Barrick reported a spill of cyanide solution at the mine after an equipment failure.

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