Pascua Llama Gold Mine Development – Mining – Barrick Gold


Barrick were developing a gold mine on two sites between Chile and Argentina to extract and process gold ore. The development included an open cast mine, processing facilities and a 4km tunnel linking the two sites.


Client: Barrick Gold

Contract Duration: 6 Months

Contract Value: £50,000

Project Duration: 10 Years

Project Value: >£4Bn

Optimises’ involvement in this project began when it was clear that original budget of US$2.9bn was going to be exceeded. The Barrick board wanted assurances that the revised funding application was a confident reflection of the remaining capital spend on the project. 

We reviewed the estimate with key project personnel and established ranges to high level values that reflected their confidence in the costs estimated. We interviewed key project personnel and facilitated a series of risk workshops in both Spanish and English which established discrete risks which were modelled alongside the estimating uncertainty to demonstrate the possible range of outturn cost for the completed project. The schedule was also reviewed to ensure that the delivery timescales were realistic although there was insufficient information to undertake a full schedule modelling exercise. Our involvement provided key information from cost risk analysis and schedule review to underpin the business case for release of further funding to complete the project.

To ensure that uncertainty was effectively managed going forward; we developed a risk management process so that risks could be pro-actively managed ensuring improved control of uncertainty in the completion of this complex project which had many challenges including ongoing political issues and hyperinflation. We returned periodically to update and progress the exercise over the following year.