Barrick Gold’s Pascua-Lama gold project has not damaged glaciers within its area of influence, Chile’s Environmental Court ruled.
Construction on the multibillion dollar project was halted in 2013 because of lower prices for gold, permitting issues, political opposition and cost overruns. Opponents of the mine claimed it would hurt glaciers in the area. The claims against Barrick were brought by local farmers and environmental groups and covered three glaciers and the valley into which their waters flow, according to a statement from the court in Santiago, Reuters reported.
“We are pleased that the court has confirmed what the technical and scientific evidence demonstrates, that these ice bodies have not been damaged by activities at the Pascua-Lama project,” Eduardo Flores, Barrick’s executive director for Chile, said in a statement.
When Barrick first halted construction it said the decision to stop development was not the end of the road and that it would resume construction when conditions warrant.
Barrick said its Pascua-Lama team was working on resolving the project’s outstanding legal and regulatory hurdles, completing a new execution plan for the remaining construction activities and minimizing project costs.