Local March 15, 2013 | 10:39 am

Dominican-Barrick Gold row now turns to doré

Santo Domingo.- Barrick Gold Pueblo Viejo’s top executives are currently meeting Friday morning in the Canadian miner’s offices in the Novo Centro tower, in the wake of the government’s surprising halt of a precious metals ore (doré) export on Wednesday, the first in the country’s history.

Customs director Fernando Fernandez said Thursday it suspended Barrick’s exports through Las Americas International Airport due to a routine physical verification in compliance with Customs law, because in its view the miner didn’t respond to a March 7 notification to specify each of the metals in the cargo manifest.

He said the requirements weren’t fulfilling, for which the ore cannot leave the country.

The official’s statement comes just hours after local media reported that Customs has never inspected gold shipments, in reference to Barrick’s predecessor, Rosario Dominicana S.A.

Fernandez said Barrick’s manifesto lists the export as doré (gold and silver ore) valued at US$11.6 million, but Customs doesn’t have a tariff scale for that, and instead for gold and for silver separately.

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