Barrick Gold cuts production forecast following mechanical issue at Pueblo Viejo mine

23 November 2015 (Last Updated November 23rd, 2015 18:30)

Barrick Gold has reduced its gold production forecast for 2015 following a mechanical issue at the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic.

Barrick Gold has reduced its gold production forecast for 2015 following a mechanical issue at the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic.

The company expects to produce six million to 6.15 million ounces of gold during the year at $830-$870 per ounce. It previously estimated it would produce between 6.1 million and 6.3 million ounces of gold.

Barrick Gold said that production at the Pueblo Viejo mine may be reduced until mid-January 2016 due to a mechanical issue at the mine's oxygen plant.

"Production may be reduced until mid-January 2016 due to a mechanical issue at the mine's oxygen plant."

The Pueblo Viejo mine is a joint venture between Goldcorp, which owns 40% interest, and Barrick Gold that operates it with a 60% interest.

Two of three electric motors at the mine's oxygen plant experienced an unexpected failure and have been shipped to a US facility for repair. The third motor is continuing operations as usual.

The plant provides the oxygen required for the autoclave processing facility that treats the refractory ore at Pueblo Viejo mine. The facility will operate at a reduced capacity until the damaged motors are put in operation after completing repairs, the Barrick Gold said.

Barrick Gold is in the process of investigating the cause of the motor failure.

Repairs are expected to be complete to have units back in-service by mid-January 2016, based on current estimates.

The Pueblo Viejo mine achieved first gold production in 2012 and completed its ramp-up in 2014.

Barrick's share of gold production in 2014 stood at 665,000oz at all-in sustaining costs of $588 per ounce. As of 31 December 2014, the mine had proven and probable gold reserves of 9.3 million ounces.