BUENOS AIRES Dec 14 Barrick Gold Corp is laying
off roughly 1,500 of its approximately 5,000 workers on the
Argentine side of its suspended Pascua-Lama gold mine project, a
local government spokesman said on Saturday.
The Toronto-based miner said in October it was moth-balling
the huge project, which straddles the border between Argentina
However, Barrick maintained workers in Argentina's
Western San Juan province to perform maintenance tasks and build
"As of 2014 there will be 3,500 workers," Alejandro Flores,
the spokesman for the San Juan Mining Ministry, told Reuters.
"All the works on the Argentine side have been rescheduled
as the company is prioritizing works on the Chilean side.
Therefore most people working on site won't be necessary for two
years," he added.
Chile's environmental regulator suspended the project
earlier this year due to "significant" environmental harm, and
ordered mitigation measures to avoid water pollution.
Pascua-Lama has also been plagued by cost overruns, what
experts have called poor management, and lower bullion prices.
Before the project's suspension, the Toronto-based miner
employed roughly 10,000 people on the Argentine side of the
Barrick did not immediately respond to a request for