Barrick Gold is planning to invest $550m to expand the mining operations at its gold mines in Peru by 2013.

The funds will be used to expand the Lagunas Norte mine, which produced 808,000oz of gold in 2010, and build a leach pad with an investment of $365.5m, reports Reuters.

The firm is also planning to extend the production life of the Pierina gold mine from 2014 to 2018, which has produced about 191,000oz of gold.

Barrick Gold general manager Darrell Wagner said that, with this investment, the firm is looking to strengthen its presence by producing and exploring.