Operators of large Dominican mine say they will not re-open contract but open to helping gov't

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – The company that operates the huge Pueblo Viejo gold mine in the Dominican Republic is resisting calls from the country’s government to renegotiate its royalty contract.

Barrick Pueblo Viejo spokesman Jorge Esteva says in a TV interview that renegotiating the 2009 contract is “not on the table.” Esteva said in an interview on the Antena Latina TV station that the company is willing to discuss measures to help the Dominican Republic with its budget deficit.

President Danilo Medina and both houses of Congress have called on the Canadian joint venture to re-open talks on the operating contract for one of the world’s largest gold mining operations. Spokesman Andy Lloyd said Tuesday the company is discussing the issue with the government but the contract is legally binding.