September cyanide spill at Argentina gold mine wasn't the first

Barrick Gold Corp (TSX, NYSE:ABX) was recently fined 145.7m pesos or $9.8m fine over a September cyanide spill at its Veladero mine in San Juan province, but it's been revealed that was not the first such incident at the mine.

Reuters reports that a local newspaper published a report by the environmental ministry not previously made public that outlined three cyanide leaks at the mine between 2011 and 2012. All three spills were contained by the mine's control system and duly reported to authorities according to a Barrick statement:

"The events described in the article were properly contained by our contingency systems in the operating area of the mine," the statement said. "They did not represent a potential risk to the environment."

Veladero, one of the largest gold mines in Argentina, produced 602,000 ounces  last year.  Proven and probable mineral reserves as of December 31, 2015, were 7.5 million ounces of gold. Gold production in 2016 is expected to be 630,000-690,000 ounces at all-in sustaining costs of $830-$900 per ounce according to the company's website.