(Adds mine production data, analyst comment, stock price,
BUENOS AIRES/TORONTO, March 30 Argentina's San
Juan province ordered Barrick Gold Corp to
suspend some activities at its Veladero mine after a pipe
carrying gold-bearing solution ruptured on the leach pad,
state-run news agency Telam reported on Thursday.
Reuters could not immediately reach the provincial
government to confirm the report. A spokesman for Barrick said
the Toronto-based company was confirming its understanding of
Barrick said on Wednesday that a monitoring system at the
mine had detected a rupture on the pipe on Tuesday night. The
issue was "quickly corrected," it added, following procedures to
contain and mitigate the situation.
All solution was contained within the operating facility and
there was no impact to people or the environment, Barrick said
in the statement.
Barrack experienced similar issues in September 2016 and
September 2015. Last September, mine operations were suspended
after falling ice damaged a pipe and spilled some ore saturated
with cyanide solution over a berm, or raised bank.
One year earlier, authorities suspended operations after a
cyanide solution spill, which was caused by equipment failure.
The open pit mine is expected to produce 770,000 to 830,000
ounces of gold in 2017, at an all-in sustaining production cost
of $840 to 940 per ounce of gold. Spot gold was trading
at $1,243.68 an ounce on Thursday afternoon.
Veladero accounts for about 14 percent of Barrick's total
gold production, RBC Capital Markets analyst Stephen Walker
estimated in a note to clients.
"While we view this latest issue as a slight negative for
Barrick's shares, the company has stated that there has been no
impact on production at this time," Walker wrote.
Barrick shares were down 2 percent at C$25.06 on the Toronto
Stock Exchange on Thursday afternoon, amid broad declines for
gold miners as the price of bullion slipped alongside a stronger
(Reporting by Caroline Stauffer in Buenos Aires and Susan
Taylor in Toronto; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Peter Cooney)