Pascua Lama shelved again

DESPITE spending around US$5 billion to date, Barrick Gold is putting its troubled Pascua Lama project back on ice after plans for an underground mine at the high-altitude deposit failed to meet the company’s strict profitability criteria.

Pascua Lama shelved again Pascua Lama shelved again Pascua Lama shelved again Pascua Lama shelved again Pascua Lama shelved again

Pascua Lama

The Canadian gold producer will now halt work on a prefeasibility study for the underground option and focus on a closure plan for the remaining surface infrastructure in line with requirements from Chilean authorities.

"Work to date on the prefeasibility study for a potential underground project indicates that while the concept may be feasible from a technical standpoint, it does not meet Barrick's investment criteria," the company said in its March quarterly report released on Tuesday.

The decision is the latest and possibly final setback for an ambitious project which has run into a series of environmental, legal and technical challenges throughout its development.

Spanning the border between Argentina and Chile and sitting more than 4000m above sea level, ...