Local February 8, 2013 | 7:32 am

The stage is set for Barrick Gold, Dominican Government showdown

Santo Domingo.- While a Chamber of Deputies special commission on Thursday announced consultations on the proposed revision of Barrick Gold’s contract to exploit the mine at Pueblo Viejo, (central), its local CEO Victor Manuel Rocha warned that is expects the Dominican Government to honor the agreement .

"In the very month of November 2009, president Leonel Fernandez promulgated the contract as an agreement between the Dominican government and Barrick Pueblo Viejo and because of that we have made a mega-investment in developing the mine, as stipulated, and the two sides arranged it," Rocha said.

He said they’ve also been clear on that the contract was negotiated in a process that lasted nearly two years, the government and the company, as well as experts from Europe, specifically France and the IDB. "The experts, after a quite long and responsible process, presented the company a tax formula that the company accepted. It was signed in June 2009 and was sent to Congress and five months later the contract negotiated with all sectors was ratified by lawmakers."

Push for revision gathers steam

But in the latest development in the flap, Deputy Justice Commission president Demosthenes Martinez said the lawmakers will hear representatives from the Customs Agency, Environment Ministry, Academy of Sciences and universities on the proposed revision of the Barrick Gold contract.

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