Argentina judge rules Barrick mine to remain suspended

Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:28am EDT
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BUENOS AIRES, Sept 30 (Reuters) - A judge in Argentina ruled on Friday to keep Barrick Gold Corp's operations at Veladero mine suspended, saying repairs were not sufficient to reopen it after a leak of processing solution containing cyanide earlier this month.

State news agency Telam said the judge's decision was based on a report from mining police in San Juan province that said the Toronto-based company had not installed security cameras and sensors as the local government had required.

A Barrick representative in Argentina said the company had not been notified of the decision.

Telam also said the judge overseeing the case, Pablo Oritja, would go on vacation on Friday.

Barrick, the world's largest gold producer, announced the spill at Veladero, one of its five main mines, on Sept. 15. The province had fined the miner nearly $10 million for a September 2015 leak.

Barrick President Kelvin Dushnisky told Reuters on Sept. 19 that he thought the mine could start operating again in two weeks.

The repairs would include lifting a berm, or raised bank, over which the processing solution flowed, he said at the time.

Barrick has not said how much processing solution was spilled. Tests by United Nations investigators in October showed the year-earlier spill had not contaminated local water supplies. (Reporting by Hernan Nessi and Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)