Pueblo Viejo is an open-pit gold mine owned by a joint venture in which Barrick Gold Corporation (Barrick) holds a 60% operating interest and Newmont Corporation holds the remaining 40% interest. The mine is located in the central part of the Dominican Republic in the province of Sanchez Ramirez.
The Pueblo Viejo mineralization is predominantly pyrite, with lesser amounts of sphalerite and enargite. Pyrite mineralization occurs as disseminations, layers, replacements, and veins. Sphalerite and enargite mineralization is primarily in veins, but disseminated sphalerite has been noted in core.
Pueblo Viejo achieved commercial production in January 2013 and completed its ramp-up to full design capacity in 2014. Pueblo Viejo consists of two open-pits, Moore and Monte Negro, and is mined by conventional truck-and-shovel methods. The Pueblo Viejo ore is refractory and consists primarily of gold and silver intimately associated with pyrite that occurs as encapsulated sub-micron particles and in solid solution. Processing of whole ore is completed by pressure oxidation followed by carbon-in-leach (CIL) cyanidation of the autoclave product. The processing plant design capacity is 24,000 tonnes per day.
Barrick has indicated that scoping studies and pilot project work are supportive of a plant expansion at the Pueblo Viejo mine that could allow the mine to maintain average annual gold production of approximately 800,000 ounces after calendar 2022. To achieve this, Barrick is evaluating a flotation concentrator followed by ultra-fine grinding and tank oxidation of the concentrate. According to Barrick, the project has the potential to convert roughly 11 million ounces of mineralized material to proven and probable reserves (100% basis).
In 2015, Royal Gold’s wholly-owned subsidiary, RGLD Gold AG, entered into a $610 million agreement with a Barrick Gold Corporation (Barrick) subsidiary to purchase a percentage of the gold and silver production attributable to Barrick’s 60% interest in the Pueblo Viejo mine.
Specifically, RGLD Gold AG owns the right to purchase 7.5% of Barrick’s interest in payable gold produced from the Pueblo Viejo mine until 990,000 ounces have been delivered, and 3.75% thereafter. The purchase price for gold ounces delivered is 30% of the spot price until 550,000 ounces have been delivered, and 60% thereafter. Payable gold is calculated as 99.9% of contained gold in doré. RGLD Gold AG also owns the right to purchase 75% of Barrick’s interest in the payable silver produced from the Pueblo Viejo mine until 50 million ounces of payable silver have been delivered, and 37.5% thereafter. The purchase price for silver ounces delivered is 30% of the spot price until 23.1 million ounces have been delivered, and 60% thereafter. Silver deliveries are based on a fixed 70% recovery rate. Payable silver is calculated as 99.0% of the adjusted recovered silver amount.
*Detailed information on our interest can be found on the Portfolio Asset Summary table