March 28, 2016 / 1:48 AM / 2 years ago

Barrick says 2011/12 Argentine mine cyanide leaks were contained

BUENOS AIRES, March 27 (Reuters) - Barrick Gold Corp’s Veladero mine in Argentina had three cyanide leaks between 2011 and 2012 that were contained by the mine’s control system, a spokesman told Reuters on Sunday after local media published a government document describing the spills.

The three leaks happened long before last September’s Veladero cyanide spill, for which the Toronto-based company was fined $9.8 million. Tests by U.N. investigators in October showed that leak had not contaminated local water supplies.

As for the three cyanide spills in 2011 and 2012, Barrick told Reuters in a statement that “those events, without exception, were duly reported to the appropriate authorities.”

Earlier on Sunday local news service Infobae published an environmental ministry document previously not released to the public outlining the 2011 and 2012 leaks.

“The events described in the article were properly contained by our contingency systems in the operating area of the mine,” the statement said. “They did not represent a potential risk to the environment”

Reporting by Maximiliam Heath; Editing by Dan Grebler

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