Barrick Gold to face U.S. group lawsuit over LatAm mine

(Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday granted class certification for a U.S. class-action lawsuit filed against Barrick Gold Corp claiming Barrick misstated facts of its now halted Pascua-Lama gold-mine project on the border of Argentina and Chile.

The class certification means the world’s largest gold producer will have to face the U.S. lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan said that shareholders who purchased Barrick shares from May 7, 2009 through Nov. 1, 2013 are a part of the class-action lawsuit.

Investors who bought Barrick’s common stock during this period have said Barrick touted Pascua-Lama as a world-class project even as it became clear that the project would fall short of expectations.

Barrick bought the untapped Pascua-Lama mine in 1994, and had been counting on it to generate a large percentage of its overall gold production.

But cost overruns, environmental issues and falling bullion prices, among other issues contributed to the company’s decision on Oct. 31, 2013 to indefinitely halt the project.

Class action lawsuits can lead to larger damages or broader remedies than individual lawsuits that can be costly to pursue.

The case is in re: Barrick Gold Securities Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 13-03851.

Reporting by Amrutha Penumudi in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier