TIMELINE-Barrick Gold shelves development of Pascua-Lama

Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:16pm EDT
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Oct 31 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp said on Thursday it will halt development of its Pascua-Lama mine in South America indefinitely - a surprise reversal on a project that has already cost the world's largest gold miner more than $5 billion.

Pascua-Lama, which the company had been counting on to provide a large share of its future gold production, has been plagued by political opposition, permitting issues, labor unrest, cost overruns and a sharp drop in bullion prices.

Here is a timeline of key developments at Pascua-Lama over the past 16 years:

September 1996 - Barrick, stepping up Argentine prospecting, considers a developing gold mine straddling Argentina's border with Chile, high in the Andes Mountains. One of Barrick's chief targets is the Lama prospect, inside Argentina, just across the border from its Pascua project in Chile.

December 2000 - Barrick says it will delay the start of full-scale construction on the Pascua-Lama project due to depressed gold and silver prices. The capital cost of the project is pegged at $1.2 billion. Previously, Barrick had said it expected Pascua-Lama to contribute a full-year's production of 800,000 ounces of gold in 2003.