Barrick Gold has resumed operations at the its Veladero mine in San Juan province following approval from local authorities. The mine had been paralyzed for less than a month following its second cyanide spill within the last year.
This morning, Judge Hugo Quiroga lifted the injunction hanging over the Veladero mine and authorized the Canada-based company to continue operating normally. The decision came after three prosecutors investigating the case requested that the suspension be lifted since the mining company has now met the required safety regulations and submitted a comprehensive work plan with additional security measures, as had been previously required by a judge.
The temporary measure suspending the mine’s activities was issued after the spill, which occurred on September 8 but was only reported on September 14. As well as the provincial government’s ruling of an injunction, the national government filed a criminal complaint against Barrick for its failure to monitor and control the mine as well as delays in reporting the incident to the public.
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Earlier today government officials said it was likely the Veladero mine would be able to continue operating, having complied with the requirements set out in the seven points the provincial government had required. Barrick also reportedly submitted a plan of additional measures, including the installation of security cameras for the permanent monitoring of the lixiviation valley where the cyanide solution is found. According to Machuca, there are now seven cameras installed and running in the most critical areas.
“It’s very positive. The mine is up and running again, the company can operate again and what we will do, from now on, is observe that operations are being carried out correctly and continue to analyze the security conditions,” said San Juan Governor Sergio Uñac, announcing the news at a press conference.
Whether the security measures that were put in place will be enough to prevent a third cyanide solution spill remains to be seen.