With the Dominican Republic government’s tailings storage facility strategic review now in-hand, Barrick said it will be moving forward with its planned life-of-mine extension project at the Pueblo Viejo gold complex.
The TSF is a significant element of the growth of the asset, which it owns with Newmont, to take the Tier 1 mine to 2040 and beyond and support the mine’s annual target production of 800,000 ounces per year. Barrick said previously that, without the facility, mining at Pueblo Viejo would end in 2030.
The government had been reviewing the location of the TSF and, through its process, identified a number of alternatives for further assessment, the miner said. Barrick conducted its own assessment simultaneously with a multi-disciplinary team of external subject matter experts from various independent consulting companies.
“Several sites were initially identified and after various screening phases, which considered environmental, social and technical factors, potentially feasible sites were identified for further evaluation,” it said.
From the two separate assessments, four alternative sites were identified. Two of those sites in the Sanchez Ramirez province will be put forward for further investigation.
Barrick president and chief executive Mark Bristow said the final location and construction of the facility will be subject to an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) per Dominican Republic and international regulations and standards.
“Barrick is committed to following international standards and will adhere to the Global Industry Standard on Tailings Management in terms of design, construction, operation, and closure of the tailings facility,” Bristow said.
“As a major creator of value for the Dominican Republic, the project will stop the decline in production, and will facilitate the continued payment of taxes, exportation, jobs, national and local purchases, and social benefits the mine brings to the country.”
Pueblo Viejo, which began development in 2009, is located approximately 100 kilometers northwest of Santo Domingo. It is operated by the Pueblo Viejo Dominicana Jersey 2 Limited, a joint venture of Barrick (60%) and Newmont (40%).