Local March 19, 2013 | 8:00 am

Canada to mediate in Barrick Gold-Dom. Rep. contract row

Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic on Monday accepted the Canadian government’s proposal to mediate in the conflict over contractual terms under which Barrick Gold operates the mine in Pueblo Viejo, Cotuí (northeast).

Newspaper Listin Diario reports that Derek Hudson Burney, former Canadian ambassador in the U.S. (1989-1993), heads the negotiations for Canada. He has also held important government posts and played a leading role in the 1988 Washington-Ottawa free trade agreement.

Barrick and Dominican government representatives have held two meetings with the Canadian envoy thus far, and discussed ways to improve government revenue from the mine.

Ottawa’s mediation comes after president Danilo Medina demanded a revision of the contract terms which he called unacceptable during his February 27 speech before Congress. "So far we’ve been patient. But patience has its limit. And more so for a government which is in the street daily and sees the urgent needs of our people the need for greater investment of funds drawn on the faces, to improve their living conditions."

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