Barrick Sets Up Community Fund for Veladero

Barrick Gold Corp. President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow and San Juan Gov. Sergio Uñac signed an agreement for the establishment of a trust fund for community development projects.

The fund will be financed by 1.5% of the Veladero gold mine’s sales, which is estimated to amount to $138 million during the current life of the mine, which extends beyond 2030. Development projects will be decided upon jointly by the mine’s communities, the government and Barrick.

Bristow said the new trust fund represented a transformational opportunity to improve the quality of life for the communities around Veladero and was in line with Barrick’s global policy of sharing the economic benefits created by its mines with all its stakeholders, and in particular with the host communities. “We’re working to extend Veladero’s life beyond its current horizon and a new 10-year production plan is already in place,” he said. “Following the recent completion of the mine’s Phase 6 heapleach facility, construction of Phase 7 will start soon, with an investment in the range of $140 million.” The new facility is expected to create 640 jobs. Bristow said it will prioritize employment and training of host country nationals.

In the meantime, the project to link Veladero to Chile’s national power grid has been scheduled for completion soon. This will help trim the mine’s greenhouse gas emissions in line with Barrick’s global reduction targets of 30% by 2030 and net zero by 2050.

Elsewhere in San Juan province, Barrick is intensively exploring for more resources for the Pascua-Lama project, which straddles the border between Argentina and Chile. Bristow said a decision would be made in 2024 on whether Lama, which is in Argentina, met the company’s investment criteria for development. Barrick’s exploration teams are also evaluating a range of exciting targets along the El Indio Belt, around the Veladero JV and in Quevar in Salta province.

As featured in Womp 2021 Vol 11 -