Barrick and Shandong join forces at Minera Andina del Sol

Barrick Gold’s operations in Argentina. Photo by Barrick Gold.

Barrick Gold (TSX, NYSE:ABX), the world’s top bullion producer by volume, and China’s Shandong Gold Mining Co. announced that the joint venture in charge of managing operations at the Veladero mine will be called Minera Andina del Sol.

Previous information published on revealed that the joint venture board will consist of three nominees appointed by each company. In order to ensure continuity of operations at the mine located in the Argentinian province of San Juan, both firms intend to maintain the current management team.

Shandong bought 50% of Veladero for $960 million back in April 2017. Last year, the mine, considered one Argentina’s largest, produced 544,000 ounces and has proven and probable mineral reserves estimated at 3.4 million ounces of gold, according to the company’s website.

The Pascua-Lama gold, silver and copper project straddling the border between Chile and Argentina will be also under Minera Andina del Sol’s oversight. The giant Andean mine, which was set generate about 800,000 to 850,000 ounces of gold and 35 million ounces of silver per year in the first full five years of operations, has been shuttered since 2013 when a court ordered the company to halt construction over environmental concerns.

In 2016, however, the Toronto-based miner began a “drastic revision” of both Pascua-Lama and Veladero and that was what led to bringing Shandong on board.

Now, the two strategic partners want to turn Minera Andina del Sol into a global leader in terms of innovation when it comes to mineral resource exploitation. This is according to Fernando Giannoni, the new company’s executive director in Argentina.

In Barrick’s end-of-year celebration during which the creation of the emerging firm was announced, Giannoni stated that transparency will be at the core of its operations. “We want to create value, opportunities and prosperity for our shareholders and the communities in which we operate,” he said.