UPDATE 1-Barrick trims 2015 gold output forecast on Dominican mine issue

Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:31pm EST
 
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(Adds details on motor failure, Goldcorp not immediately available for comment)

Nov 23 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp lowered its 2015 production forecast range on Monday due to a mechanical issue at its jointly owned Dominican Republic-based mine that will result in reduced production at the operation until mid-January 2016.

Barrick, the world's biggest gold producer, said it now expects to produce between 6 million and 6.15 million ounces of gold this year. Its previous forecast for group output was for between 6.1 million and 6.3 million ounces.

Barrick owns 60 percent of Dominican-based Pueblo Viejo, its newest mine. Rival Canadian producer Goldcorp Inc owns the remaining 40 percent.

Goldcorp did not immediately respond to a query on whether it will lower its full-year output forecast.

Barrick said in a statement that two of three electric motors at Pueblo Viejo's oxygen plant unexpectedly failed on Nov. 19 and have been sent for repairs in the United States. The plant provides oxygen for the autoclave processing facility that treats the mine's refractory ore.

While repairs on the motors are underway, Pueblo Viejo will bring forward maintenance activities previously scheduled for January.

The mine has property and machinery breakdown insurance, including business interruption coverage, which is triggered after 30 days, Barrick said. (Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Bernard Orr)