October 12, 2018 / 9:25 PM / 4 days ago

Chile environmental court orders Barrick to close Pascua-Lama gold mine

SANTIAGO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Chile's environmental court on Friday ordered Canada's Barrick Gold Corp to definitively close the Chilean side of its stalled Pascua-Lama mining project, a final procedural step that draws a line under a long-running saga.

The court, sitting in the northern Chilean city of Antofagasta, approved by two votes to one the closure of the polemical project that straddles the Andes Mountains between Chile and Argentina.

The gold and silver operation was put on hold in 2013 due to environmental issues, political opposition, labor unrest and development costs that ballooned to $8.5 billion.

Barrick was told to close the mine by Chile's environmental regulator in January this year and fined $11.5 million. Friday's court ruling rubber-stamps that order.

Barrick, the world's largest gold miner, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by Antonio de la Jara; writing by Aislinn Laing, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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