Monday, October 20th9.8°C
23836
22952

Barrick Gold reaches deal with Chileans who opposed Pascua-Lama mine

SANTIAGO, Chile - Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX) said Wednesday that it has reached a preliminary deal with a Chilean indigenous group that it hopes will eventually open the way to restarting its Pascua-Lama mine high in the Andes.

The world's biggest gold producer said the memorandum of understanding was worked out with 15 Diaguita communities, which are just downstream from the mine straddling the Argentina-Chile border.

The Diaguitas have complained that Pascua-Lama threatens their water supply and pollutes nearby glaciers. In May 2013, Chile's environmental regulator blocked work at Pascua-Lama, citing "very serious" violations of its work permit. Then in October, Barrick announced it would suspend construction of the $8.5 billion mine.

The Toronto-based company said Wednesday that it seeks to put past clashes behind and "begin a new stage for Pascua Lama" committed to transparency and working closely with the local communities. The six-month deal allows the Diaguita to get firsthand information about the project and review it with experts.

"Although the Chilean side of Pascua-Lama is paralyzed, our goal is to get the permits to restart construction. This time, however, we want to do it hand-in-hand with the communities," said Eduardo Flores Zelaya, the project's senior vice-president. "We know restoring trust is a long process that requires consistency through time."

Members of the Diaguita community hailed the agreement as a victory.

"Environmentally speaking, this marks a milestone, and we hope that it also becomes a precedent so that all big companies learn how to respect the indigenous communities," Diaguita leader Solange Bordones told The Associated Press. "Today, it us who have to take over the reins and control our own land."

If the collaboration is successful, Barrick and the Diaguita will start a dialogue phase over two years, said Lorenzo Soto, a lawyer who represents the communities.

"For the Diaguita this is a triumph because in Chile the mining companies have traditionally stepped on the rights of the indigenous peoples," Soto said.

Authorities in Argentina have insisted that Lama, their side of the binational project, will proceed with or without Chile. But most of Pascua-Lama's estimated 18 million ounces of gold and 676 million ounces of silver are in Chile.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

21297


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14337.77+110.09
S&P CDNX811.351.22
DJIA16399.6719.26
Nasdaq4316.075+57.637
S&P 5001904.01+17.25
CDN Dollar0.8876+0.0017
Gold1249.80+5.1001
Oil81.58+0.20
Lumber330.40-0.50
Natural Gas3.679+0.009

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.10-0.01
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.12+0.01
Cantex0.055-0.025
Anavex Life Sciences0.191+0.001
Metalex Ventures0.050.00
Russel Metals32.28-0.07
Copper Mountain Mining1.99+0.05
Colorado Resources0.15+0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.0111-0.0019
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.060.00
Mission Ready Services0.450.00

 



20759

FEATURED Property
16232199 880 Christina Place
4 bedrooms 3 baths
$549,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Keep it rubber side down

This time of year, I always worry about which friends of mine will get caught going off the road in adverse weather conditions. With a little preparation most accidents can be avoided. Having won the...


Big bank predicts rate hike

Photo: Thinkstock.comThe end of record-low rates is nigh, according to one major bank, which has taken a stance and predicted when the Bank of Canada will raise its long-standing overnight rate. &ldq...


Experts share strategies in Kelowna

The third week in October is “Small Business Week”, a week dedicated to supporting local, small businesses. The week was designed to bring awareness to Canadians about the role small busin...

_



23545

23545


Member of BC Press Council


22962