September 17, 2015 / 1:58 PM / in 3 years

Argentina suspends production at Barrick gold mine after cyanide leak

BUENOS AIRES, Sept 17 (Reuters) - An Argentine judge on Thursday said he ordered a five-day suspension of the gold leaching process at Barrick Gold Corp’s Veladero mine to check if there was any environmental damage from a cyanide leak triggered by a faulty valve.

“We have decided on this cautionary measure suspending the process of lixiviation for five days,” Pablo Oritja, a judge in the western province of San Juan told Reuters on Thursday. Barrick declined to comment on the news.

Oritja said the measure effective immediately was to ensure that production at Veladero, one of the largest gold mines in Argentina, was safe.

Barrick’s Argentine unit said on Wednesday that it had detected no contamination in surrounded rivers since the incident occurred at the weekend. The company said the faulty valve had been replaced and there had been no threat to the health of its workers or the local community. (Reporting by Juliana Castilla; Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by W Simon)

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