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Science and Environment

Barrick Gold Stops Operations In Argentina After Another Cyanide Spill

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Barrick Gold
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Barrick Gold has been ordered to stop mining operations in Argentina after a recent cyanide spill.

According to an Associated Press story, Barrick Gold announced on Thursday that they are temporarily suspending mining operations near the San Juan province due to another cyanide spill. According to their website, on September 8, a block of ice rolled down a heap leach valley and broke a pipe carrying a solution containing cyanide.

Barrick says some of the solution left their leach pad, but added that none of it reached waterways or watercourses and that the damaged leach area has now been remediated. They say that the environment and the community were not harmed, surface and subsurface water testing detected no anomalies, and that more intense testing would be done to be sure.

After a spill that allowed over 35 thousand cubic feet of liquid cyanide to spill into nearby waters in Valadero, nine current and former Barrick Gold employees were charged with negligence. Barrick says that the employees were processed but not detained, and would not confirm whether charges were forwarded.

Sergio Unac, a judge in San Juan province, says that the mine operations will remain closed until it's determined there are no risks.

Barrick pulls forecasted around a half a million ounces of gold for 2016.

Barrick Gold Corporation and NovaGold Resources are co-owners of Donlin gold.