Chile court rejects single $16 million fine for 23 environmental failures at Barrick Gold mine

SANTIAGO, Chile – Chile’s environmental court has overturned a $16 million fine against Barrick Gold for failing to keep its promises at the world’s highest gold mine.

The court said Monday that Chile’s environmental regulator should not have applied a single total fine after finding that the world’s biggest gold mining company committed 23 separate infractions at the $8.5 billion Pascua Lama project.

It ordered separate fines for each failure to follow the environmental permit.

Barrick acknowledged 22 of the 23 problems and is working to fix them, but denied that a huge containment wall needs changes to better protect the valley below.

Diaguita Indians who feel threatened by potential runoff in their rivers are trying to block the Canadian company’s project.