Barrick Gold Corp. (TSE:ABX), the world’s largest producer of the metal by volume, said it intends to move ahead with its Pascua-Lama mine in Chile after the South American nation's highest court rejected an indigenous community request to place addition measures against the stalled mine.
The ruling requires Barrick to complete a water-management system that must first meet the approval of the country’s environment ministry, the Toronto-Ontario-based company said in a statement today.
The ruling, which upholds a lower court ruling in July, concludes a constitutional rights protection action filed last year on behalf of four indigenous communities.
Barrick said it is committed to operating "at the highest environmental standards at all of its operations around the world, including at Pascua-Lama," and that it is "pleased that the ruling allows the project to advance in compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements."
The troubled project on the border between Chile and Argentina was initially expected to be producing gold and silver this year, but the company now targets output by mid-2016.
Several big mining and power projects have faced legal setbacks in recent months in Chile, the world's largest copper producer.
Earlier this year, Barrick took a $5.1-billion writedown on the project as part of an $8.7-billion impairment charge in its most recent quarter.
Barrick shares fell 1.6 percent to C$18.96 at 2:20 p.m., extending this year's losses to approximately 45 percent.