Barrick Gold Corp. (TSE:ABX), the world’s largest gold miner, said it would delay the startup of its Pascua-Lama gold mine in Chile and Argentina past late 2014 because of demands from Chile’s environmental agency.
According to documents filed with Canadian regulators late on Monday, the project would probably exceed its current budget of up to $8.5 billion as a result.
Barrick said it was weighing the decision in detail and was in talks with Chilean authorities regarding the implications of the ruling.
"While the company is assessing opportunities for potential reductions in certain expenditures, the delay beyond 2014 is expected to result in a related increase in capital cost," Toronto-based Barrick said in the filing.
Barrick ascribed the delay to water management work required by Chile's new environmental regulator.
A Chilean court in April partially halted construction of the project, which is on the border between Chile and Argentina, and imposed a $16 million fine due to violations of the company's environmental permit.
Barrick's shares fell 3 percent to C$21.30 at 10:08 a.m. in Toronto on Tuesday, extending this year's losses to 39 percent.