UPDATE: Market Chatter: Barrick Gold Down 8% at New 52-Week Lows On Reports Chilean Court Suspends Pascua-Lama Mine
Barrick Gold Corp. ( ABX ) shares have extended losses and have slumped to a new 52-week low after media reports that a Chilean court has temporarily suspended the company's Pascua-Lama gold and silver mine after indigenous groups protested that the project was damaging glaciers and contaminating water supply.
The company said it was aware of the reports but has not yet been formally notified of the court order and will assess the potential implications once it has received official notification. It said that construction activities in Argentina, where the majority of Pascua-Lama's critical infrastructure is located, including the process plant and tailings storage facility, are not affected.
The project, which is currently in the construction phase, is expected to start production in the second half of 2014. The project is costing ABX about $8 billion to build.
The shares have extended earlier losses to 7.6% at $24.67, after forging new 52-week low of $24.66.