Local February 7, 2013 | 7:39 am

Years after approved, Dominican lawmakers read Barrick Gold contract

Santo Domingo.- The flap over Barrick Gold’s mining contract snowballed Wednesday when deputies started reading it for the first time -years after they approved it- uncovering provisions that prompted one lawmaker to ask “what for?”

Article 6.10 of Dominican Republic’s agreement with Barrick’s Pueblo Viejo (PVDC) operation signed in 2009 allows it to use its furnishings, real property and improvements to the concession area, for activities other than the mining project. It "may perform activities other than those of the project, using the sites, buildings, fixtures, furniture and improvements in compliance with the law."

"PVDC has the right to export all products derived from its operations without limitation," says clause 11.6, although Barrick’s main activity is the mining for gold, silver, copper and zinc.

The "expansion" of the mining rights led then deputy Rafael Molina Lluberes to render a dissenting report, as member of a special lower Chamber committee that studied the draft to amend the contract in 2009.

Molina’s report, quoted by hoy.com.do, says "PVDC will use its interrelationships for any activity other than in mining. Why and for what," he asked. "This has to be put clear," the then lawmaker said and also asks “what other activities could Barrick’s subsidiary develop,".

Subparagraph I of paragraph 2.5 authorizes the company "mine, exploit and recover, at its sole discretion, each and every one of the minerals and other materials,” but excludes the exploitation of oil and natural gas.

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