* Co says move will cut capex by $1.5-$1.8 bln in 2013, 2014
* Co expects to book $4.5-$5.5 bln impairment charge on
* Co says first output on Pascua now set for mid-2016
TORONTO, June 28 Barrick Gold Corp said
on Friday it is slowing construction at its Pascua-Lama gold
project in South America, as it looks to rein in spending on the
severely delayed project, already billions of dollars over
The company said re-sequencing of the project will lead to
significant deferral of planned capital spending in 2013 and
2014. Barrick now expects to reduce capital expenditures on the
project in 2013 and 2014 by a total of $1.5 to $1.8 billion.
Construction at Pascua-Lama, which straddles the border of
Chile and Argentina, was partially halted earlier this year
after a Chilean court ordered a suspension to weigh claims by
indigenous communities that development work had damaged
glaciers and harmed water supplies.
Chile's new environmental regulator later ordered all work
to stop, citing severe environmental violations, and demanded
the company complete a new water management system before
resuming construction. Work on the Argentine side of the
project, however was still proceeding.
In light of the delays in Chile, the company now expects to
only to be able to mine ore from the Chilean side by mid-2016.
Barrick said in line with this time frame, and in light of
challenging market conditions and the slump in metal prices, the
company intends to delay construction of the process plant and
other facilities in Argentina in order to target first output by
Production from the massive project was earlier set to begin
in the second half of 2014.
The company also said it is plans to book impairment charges
on the asset in light of the continued significant declines in
gold and silver prices, and the delay in first gold production.
Preliminary analysis indicates an after-tax asset impairment
charge in the range of about $4.5 billion to $5.5 billion in the
second quarter for the Pascua-Lama project, the company said.