Economy February 12, 2015 | 9:34 am

Barrick exports US$1.5B in gold, but parched farms abound

Cotui, Dominican Republic.- Barrick Pueblo Viejo on Wednesday said it exported US$1.5 billion in dore ingots -a gold-silver alloy- in 2014, while the Dominican government’s cut was US$414.0 million.

Barrick spokesman Jorge Esteva said in the money received by the State figures US$73 million as part of the Transfer Tax from Barrick’s acquisition of the also miner Placer Dom, and around US$70.0 more, “resulting from the taxes paid by my employees and my contractors to the State, and after that, the difference is consolidated in the various taxes paid by the company," Esteva said.

Quoted by diariolibre.com, the executive said 48% of its exports cover the costs of producing each ounce of gold -from US$640 to US$700- “and 27% is our profit and 25% goes to the State.”

Esteva said the amount exported corresponds to 1.128 million ounces of dore bars. “For 4 and 5 grams of gold you need to extract a ton of material; Barrick Pueblo Viejo processed 24,000 tons per day.”

Hatillo dam low level

Esteva said the company extracts 0.33% of its water (2,500 cubic meters per hour) from Hatillo dam and returns more than 60% after use and goes through the treatment plant at Margajita River, which flows into the reservoir.

Rice farmers in the fertile region have accused Barrick for the dam’s record-low levels, claiming that the company dieverts more water than what has been authorized.

The organization Accion Verde also blames Barrick for pollution of the dam, and have dubbed one its tributaries "Rio Rojo" from the color of the contaminated water.

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