Barrick Gold Corp. ( ABX ) shares continue to experience downside, and are down 8.1% at $22.73, after earlier hitting a 52-week low of $22.60 in late afternoon trading.
The company's stock has fallen under pressure since the April 10th announcement that the company was suspending construction at its Pascua-Lama gold and silver project, in response to a court order from Chilean authorities.
Citing a court source, a Reuters report said the case may not be resolved for months, and may go as far as the Supreme Court before a judgment is rendered. The delay also threatens to increase the start-up cost for the project, which has already been subject to cost overruns.
Less than a year ago, ABX raised the price tag to get Pascua-Lama up and running to over $8-billion. When the company launched the project back in 2009 they expected the project would cost $3 billion. A significant portion of higher costs were attributed to a year-long delay in building the mine. When asked about the potential impact of the suspension, Barrick released this statement: "It is too early to assess the impact, if any, on the overall capital budget and schedule of the project."
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