Barrick Gold will pay RD$1 billion in bond to be able to dam tailings
Santo Domingo.- The Ministry of the Environment has imposed certain conditions on the environmental license granted to Barrick Pueblo Viejo, a mining company, for the construction of a new tailings dam. One of the conditions is the payment of a bond worth over one billion pesos. Additionally, the preservation of various tributaries of Sánchez Ramírez is also required.
The environmental license, numbered 0501-23 and obtained by Diario Libre, specifies that the permit will remain valid for five years, subject to the full compliance of the promoter, Pueblo Viejo Dominicana Jersey 2 Limited, with the prescribed conditions outlined in the “New Facilities for the Co-disposal of Tailings and Waste Rock for the Pueblo Viejo Mine” project.
According to the document, a bond of RD$1,135,797,055.00 will be provided to the Ministry of the Environment. This bond is intended to ensure the fulfillment of the Environmental Management and Adaptation Program (PMAA), as mandated by Article 47 of the General Law on the Environment and Natural Resources.
Furthermore, the license specifies that the mining company must undertake the project without making any alterations to the approved design proposal. It emphasizes that no additional components should be included unless they have been previously evaluated and incorporated into the proposal.
Preserving the streams and rivers in the vicinity is a key requirement set by the Ministry of the Environment. The approval of the project, whose initial construction phase is slated for 2024, hinges on guaranteeing that the natural flows of the Arroyo Vuelta and Maguaca River tributaries, affected by the project, will not be disrupted. The source of both tributaries must also be conserved. Section number eight of the license mandates the use of appropriate materials and technologies to prevent groundwater contamination from the infiltration of tailings water. The mining company is also obligated to establish groundwater observation and monitoring wells throughout the project’s area of influence. Compliance with this provision needs to be demonstrated in each Environmental Compliance Report (ICA) submitted to the Ministry of the Environment.
Regarding the management of water resources, the environmental license requires systematic monitoring of surface and groundwater both upstream and downstream of the dam. In the event of contamination, the necessary measures to rectify it must be implemented.
To ensure compliance, Barrick Pueblo Viejo must submit Environmental Compliance (ICA) reports of the Environmental Management and Adaptation Program (PMAA) to the Ministry of the Environment every six months. Failure to provide these reports within the stipulated deadlines will result in the revocation of the permit, as warned by the authorities.