Barrick faces new setback, more pressure

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail 

Barrick Gold’s Pascua-Lama project

Barrick Gold Corp. has gained some breathing room with its decision to delay development of its Pascua-Lama project, but the company faces pressure to shrink its global mining operations amid tumbling metal prices.

Barrick says first production from the South American gold and silver venture will be postponed by more than 18 months, as the Canadian company forecasts taking a writedown of up to $5.5-billion (U.S.) on the project.

Toronto-based Barrick said it has opted to vastly scale back capital spending this year and in 2014 on the project, which is located in the Andes mountains and straddles the border between Chile and Argentina.

While construction of the $8.5-billion project has suffered another setback, the venture remains strategically important to the world’s largest gold producer, analysts say.

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