An Argentine judge stated that he ordered for a 5-day deferral of the gold leaching process at Barrick Gold Corporation (USA)(NYSE:ABX) Veladero mine to assess if there was any environmental harm done from a cyanide leak occurred due to a faulty valve. The judge said that they have given the suspension decision as a cautionary measure. This decision may have an impact on production at Veladero mine.

The highlights

In ruling, the Judge stated that the measure was to make sure that production at Veladero mine was safe. Barrick Gold’s Argentine unit confirmed on Wednesday that it had identified no contamination in nearby rivers since the cyanide leak happened.

The company also reported that they have replaced the faulty valve and there had been no harm recorded to workers’ health or the local community. However, it had initiated an investigation to find the reason behind the valve failure and was monitoring the water quality in the area.

The buzz

In unrelated news, the company reported that it finished the development of a strategic joint venture deal with Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. It covers the sale of a 50% stake in Barrick (Niugini) Limited. The deal is valued at a cash consideration of $298 million and proceeds from the deal will be deployed to repay debt. Barrick Niugini is the 95% manager as well as owner of the Porgera JV gold mine based in Papua New Guinea.

Earlier in September, Barrick Gold Corporation (USA)(NYSE:ABX) announced that for the eighth year in a row, it has secured a place in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. Also, it was included in the North America index of Dow Jones Sustainability for the ninth consecutive year. It is a significant accomplishment for the company, its employees and shareholders.

In early morning trade on Friday, the stock price of Barrick Gold is trading nearly 1.5% in green at $6.95.