Dominican gov't, Canadian joint venture reach deal to inspect gold shipments

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – A Canadian mining venture has agreed to have its gold shipments inspected by the Dominican government, ending a standoff that halted a cargo valued at nearly $12 million.

Dominican Customs Director Fernando Fernandez said his agency would inspect the export shipment from the Barrick Pueblo Viejo mine early next week. He appeared at a news conference Friday after meeting with company officials.

Agents detained the shipment of 6,000 ounces of gold and 30,000 ounces of silver Wednesday after the company said the seals could not be broken until the shipment reached Canada.

Pueblo Viejo is one of the world’s largest mine operations. It is run by Barrick Gold Corp. of Toronto and Goldcorp Inc. of Vancouver. The government has been pressuring the venture to renegotiate its royalty contract.