(Adds comments from Barrick)
BUENOS AIRES/TORONTO, Sept 30 A judge in
Argentina ruled that Barrick Gold Corp's operations at
its Veladero mine would remain suspended, saying repairs were
insufficient to reopen it after a leak of processing solution
containing cyanide earlier this month.
Judge Pablo Oritja's decision was based on a report from
mining police in San Juan province that found Barrick had not
installed security cameras and sensors as required, state news
agency Telam said on Friday.
A spokesman for the province said Oritja had extended the
temporary suspension of operations on Thursday until Barrick
completes additional work at Veladero, one of its five core
Barrick President Kelvin Dushnisky told Reuters on Sept. 19
that he thought the mine could start operating again in two
Toronto-based Barrick said on Friday that it had completed
"critical" work required by authorities for the resumption of
operations and was awaiting a final resolution of the matter.
The world's largest gold producer by output, Barrick does
not expect the suspension to cause it to miss its 2016
consolidated production forecast, said spokesman Andy Lloyd.
Barrick said provincial regulators ordered work in seven
areas, including maintenance of the exterior perimeter of the
leach pad liner and raising the exterior berm, or bank, over
which the processing solution flowed.
The company gave no estimate of the costs of the work or
suspension. It will finalize them once the mine is back in
operation, Lloyd said.
Telam said Oritja would go on vacation on Friday, meaning
another judge could handle the case.
Barrick has not said how much processing solution was
spilled. Tests by United Nations investigators in October showed
the year-earlier spill had not contaminated local water
The company announced the spill on Sept. 15. The province
had fined Barrick nearly $10 million for a September 2015 leak.
(Reporting by Hernan Nessi, Maximilian Heath and Caroline
Stauffer in Buenos Aires and Susan Taylor in Toronto; Editing by
Lisa Von Ahn)