Barrick to take smaller, phased approach to Argentina-based Pascua-Lama project – by Henry Lazenby (Mining – September 1, 2016)

VANCOUVER ( – Major miner Barrick Gold has appointed former executive George Bee to lead the development of a smaller, phased operation at its stalled Pascua-Lama project, straddling the Chile/Argentina border, the company said Thursday.

Barrick had halted the project in 2013 after investing $5-billion in it. As well as permitting issues, cost overruns and a sharp drop in bullion prices, it faced the strong and organised opposition of the local indigenous communities.

Pascua-Lama was originally expected to cost no more than $3-billion when construction was approved in 2009. However, the cost of the project has since escalated to $8.5-billion.

Having previously been employed for 16 years at Barrick, including an eight-year stint in Latin America, Bee as senior VP for Lama and Frontera District Development will from September 12 be tasked with driving forward initial conceptual work completed by the project team to date.

Barrick is looking at advancing a starter project option at Lama, on the Argentinean side of the Pascua-Lama project. The deposit is located on the border between Chile and Argentina, with 75% of the orebody lying in Chile and 25% in Argentina.

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