UPDATE 1-Barrick seeks limited injunction on Cortez Hills

* Asks court to allow work at Nevada mine to proceed

* Says blanket injunction would cause major job losses

TORONTO, Jan 26 (BestGrowthStock) – Barrick Gold (ABX.TO: ) said on
Tuesday it has requested a U.S. court to issue a limited
injunction that would allow work at its Cortez Hills mine in
Nevada to continue while additional environmental assessments
on the project are under way.

In December, an appeals court in San Francisco ruled that
the Cortez Hills project — which has faced opposition from
local native Indian leaders and environmental groups —
requires additional environmental analysis by the U.S. Bureau
of Land Management.

The appeals court has directed the District Court of Nevada
to issue an injunction that could either halt all work at
Cortez Hills, or affect only specific operations at the site.

In asking for the limited injunction, Barrick, the world’s
top gold producer, said a complete halt could jeopardize the
jobs of hundreds of workers at the site.

In a court filing, the Canadian company argues that the
Cortez Hills operation — one of its key growth projects —
currently employs about 1,250 people. Almost half of the
workforce would lose their jobs within four months if the
entire project were halted.

It also states that more than 200 other employees would
lose their jobs if the project were halted for a year and 400
planned new jobs would not be created.

Cortez Hills, which is an expansion of Barrick’s Cortez
mine, had been expected to start producing gold early next
year, although some mining operations have already begun.

The combined Cortez operations are expected to produce 1
million ounces a year, or roughly 13 percent of Barrick’s
expected 2010 output.

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(Reporting by Euan Rocha; editing by Frank McGurty and Rob

UPDATE 1-Barrick seeks limited injunction on Cortez Hills