Barrick Gold Corp. announced that it had achieved commercial production at its Pueblo Viejo Mine in the Dominican Republic. The mine is one of the biggest new gold projects in the world and represents the single largest foreign investment in the Caribbean nation’s history.
The mine is a joint venture between Barrick and Goldcorp Inc and cost $3.7 billion to build.
“This is another major milestone at this truly world-class mine,” Barrick chief executive Jamie Sokalsky said in a statement.
Barrick’s 60 percent share of 2013 output is expected to be 15.5 to 20.2 t (500,000 to 650,000 oz), while Goldcorp’s 40 percent share is expected to be 10.3 to 13.5 t (330,000 to 435,000 oz).
Over the first five years of full production, annual output is set to top 31.1 t (1 million oz).
It took nearly four years to build the Pueblo Viejo Mine, which is located some 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Santo Domingo.
Commercial production, originally expected before the end of 2012, was delayed slightly by operational issues. A ramp-up to full capacity is expected in the second half of 2013.