Chile fines Canada’s Barrick Gold Corp. $16M for environmental violations | Globalnews.ca
VALLENAR, Chile – Chile’s environmental regulator blocked Barrick Gold Corp.’s US$8.5 billion Pascua-Lama project on Friday and imposed its maximum fine on the world’s largest gold miner, citing “very serious” violations of its environmental permit as well as a failure by the company to accurately describe what it had done wrong.
After a four-month investigation, the Environmental Superintendent said all other construction work on Pascua-Lama must stop until Barrick builds the systems it promised to put in place beforehand for containing contaminated water.
Read more: Chilean court suspends Barrick mine due to environmental irregularities
The fines add up to eight billion pesos – about $16 million – the highest possible under Chilean law.
Trading in the Canadian company’s shares was halted on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges as the ruling prompted a sell-off. Barrick’s stock has lost more than half its value in the last year, due mostly to setbacks with Pascua-Lama, which straddles the Chile-Argentine border amid glaciers and snow-capped peaks at a lunch-aching 16,400 feet (5,000 metres) above sea level.
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