Apr. 14, 2010 (Marketwire Canada) -- TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 14, 2010) -
All amounts expressed in US dollars
Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX)(TSX:ABX) welcomed today a U.S. District Court April 13 decision that mining operations can continue at its Cortez Hills Mine while the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) completes a study of three aspects of the project identified in a 2009 ruling by the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court's order preserves hundreds of Nevada mining jobs and the many other community benefits resulting from Barrick's investment at Cortez Hills.
"The court's order is a great relief to all of us at Barrick, especially to the many people who are directly employed at Cortez Hills," said Greg Lang, President of Barrick's North America Region. "The court has affirmed that the supplemental studies can be completed by the Bureau of Land Management without halting our operations."
Barrick began construction of the project in late 2008 following BLM approval of the company's plan of operations. Soon thereafter, a coalition of three environmental activist groups and two Western Shoshone Tribes asked the District Court to stop the project. District Court Judge Larry Hicks denied the Plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction after a January 2009 hearing. A subsequent appeal to the 9th Circuit resulted in a December 2009 opinion that remanded the case back to the District Court with an order to impose "appropriate injunctive relief." Barrick and the BLM, co-defendants in the case, requested an "appropriately-tailored injunction" that would allow mining to continue at Cortez Hills while the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) ordered by the 9th Circuit was prepared. The Plaintiffs had demanded a full injunction, stopping construction and mining at Cortez Hills. Work on the SEIS can now proceed.
As the Company proposed in its request for a tailored injunction, Barrick will not ship a portion of Cortez Hills ores off site for processing while the SEIS is prepared and made available for public comment. Mine dewatering (groundwater pumping) will also be limited to rates and volumes allowed under permits granted prior to the 2008 approval of the Cortez Hills Project. The third aspect of the SEIS concerns new air quality standards imposed while the Cortez Hills case was in litigation. The BLM will apply the new standard, known as PM (particulate matter) 2.5, to the supplemental study. Barrick expects completion of the SEIS, including required public comment periods and final approval, to occur by the end of the year.
The Cortez Hills Mine and the Pipeline Mine make up Barrick's Cortez Operations, located in Lander County, Nevada. The Cortez Operations employ more than 1,000 people and generate a variety of community benefits, including critical tax revenues and hundreds of indirect jobs throughout the region.
"We are very appreciative of everyone in Lander, Elko and Eureka counties who have supported us throughout our defense of the good work that went into this project," Lang said. "Cortez has a bright future and we intend to continue the safe and responsible operation that made this success possible."
Barrick's Cortez operations are expected to produce about 1.08-1.12 million ounces of gold in 2010. The Company as a whole continues to anticipate production of 7.6-8.0 million ounces at total cash costs of $425-$455 per ounce.
Barrick's vision is to be the world's best gold company by finding, acquiring, developing and producing quality reserves in a safe, profitable and socially responsible manner. For more information please visit www.barrick.com.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT ON FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
Certain information contained in this presentation, including any information as to our strategy, plans or future financial or operating performance and other statements that express management's expectations or estimates of future performance, constitute "forward-looking statements". All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. The words "believe", "expect", "will", "anticipate", "contemplate", "target", "plan", "continue', "budget", "may", "intend", "estimate" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by management, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. The Company cautions the reader that such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual financial results, performance or achievements of Barrick to be materially different from the Company's estimated future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by those forward-looking statements and the forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. These risks, uncertainties and other factors include, but are not limited to: changes in the worldwide price of gold, copper or certain other commodities (such as silver, fuel and electricity); fluctuations in currency markets; legislative, political or economic developments in the jurisdictions in which the Company carries on business; operating or technical difficulties in connection with mining or development activities; employee relations; availability and increasing costs associated with mining inputs and labor; the speculative nature of exploration and development, including the risks of obtaining necessary licenses and permits and diminishing quantities or grades of reserves; contests over title to properties, particularly title to undeveloped properties; and the risks involved in the exploration, development and mining business. Certain of these factors are discussed in greater detail in the Company's most recent Form 40-F/Annual Information Form on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities.
The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.