SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Barrick Gold says it has reached an initial deal with an indigenous group in Chile that has opposed the blocked Pascua-Lama mine high in the Andes.
The Diaguita Indians live in the foothills of the world's highest mine. They say Pascua-Lama threatens their water supply and pollutes nearby glaciers.
Barrick said Wednesday that it reached a memorandum of understanding with 15 Diaguita communities. The six-month deal allows the communities to get firsthand information about the stalled project.
Diaguita leader Solange Bordones tells The Associated Press that the agreement is a victory for her community over the world's top gold miner.
Barrick announced in October that it would suspend construction of the mine. In May 2013, Chile's environmental regulator blocked work at Pascua-Lama, citing "very serious" violations of its work permit.