September 9, 2008 / 10:49 PM / in 10 years

UPDATE 1-Barrick exec confident on FY cost view of $425-455

(Adds details, paragraphs 6-8)

DENVER, Sept 9 (Reuters) - A senior executive of Barrick Gold (ABX.TO) said on Tuesday the world’s largest gold producer will meet its cost expectations of $425 to $455 an ounce for this year.

When asked if Barrick will meet its full-year cost outlook, Alex Davidson, executive vice president for exploration and corporate development, told Reuters in an interview at the Denver Gold Forum that “We will definitely make the guidance.”

Davidson cited lower cost pressure because of crude oil’s decline from its peak of nearly $150 per barrel.

The company is also waiting for Argentina and Chile to conclude a tax agreement at Barrick’s Pascua Lama deposit, which straddles the border of the two countries.

“We are confident that the (Pascua Lama) situation is going to get resolved. It’s a project that we want in our stable and we will continue with it,” Davidson said.

Pascua Lama straddles a shared border in the Andes at about 5,500 meters (18,000 feet) above sea level, and holds a treasure trove of some 17 million ounces of gold and one of the world’s largest deposits of silver.

Construction of the project has been delayed for years, first as the company worked its way through environmental permitting and subsequently as Chile and Argentina try to work out which taxes should be paid on which side of the border.

Davidson said that once the company gets the final green light on the $2.4 billion project, it will take between 2.5- and three years to build a mine.

Editing by David Gregorio

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