Barrick Gold Corporation

Barrick Gold Corporation

December 05, 2006 17:09 ET

Pascua-Lama Project Receives Argentinean Approval

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 5, 2006) - Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX)(TSX:ABX)(LSE:BGD) today welcomed the province of San Juan's decision to approve the Pascua-Lama project in Argentina. Already approved in Chile, Pascua-Lama is a bi-national mining project that will be developed on the border between the two countries.

"We are very pleased that the Pascua-Lama project has been approved. This milestone decision is the result of a serious and thorough evaluation process on both sides of the border," said Greg Wilkins, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Once again, Barrick's professionals have demonstrated their expertise in permitting large and complex mining projects and their commitment to effectively engaging with stakeholders."

The approval of the environmental impact assessment is an important step towards the construction phase at Pascua-Lama. Before construction can begin, Barrick must now obtain a number of sectoral permits from the appropriate authorities and complete detailed engineering plans. In addition, the governments of Chile and Argentina must resolve some fiscal matters relating to the bi-national project.

"Over the next short while, we will review and evaluate the conditions and specific recommendations of the authorities," said Ron Kettles, Pascua-Lama project director. "With the receipt of sectoral permits and prompt resolution of fiscal matters, we hope to start construction soon so that we can be ready to begin production in 2010."

The environmental approval in Argentina came after an exhaustive evaluation process that took place over 25 months. During this time there was substantial participation by the Interdisciplinary Environmental Evaluation Commission (CIEAM), a group of independent professionals who were assembled to review and issue a technical evaluation of the project.

"As we complete the remaining steps towards construction, we will continue to advance our sustainable development initiatives, as well as our employment training programs. These are designed to equip local workers with the skills they need to take advantage of the 5,500 direct construction jobs that Pascua-Lama will generate in its first phase," Mr. Kettles added. "This is in addition to all of the benefits the project is generating in the San Juan province already. For example, our local suppliers' development program is sourcing goods and services from 900 businesses in the province to support the Pascua-Lama project and our nearby Veladero mine."

The entire project is being developed within the framework of Barrick's responsible mining philosophy. Barrick's vision is to become the world's best gold company by finding, acquiring, developing and producing quality reserves in a safe, profitable and socially responsible manner.

Contact Information

    Barrick Gold Corporation
    James Mavor
    Vice President, Investor Relations
    (416) 307-7463
    Barrick Gold Corporation
    Vincent Borg
    Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
    (416) 307-7477