According to the Complaint, Barrick is one of the world's largest metals mining corporations. The Company develops and operates gold, silver, and copper mines in the United States, Canada, South America, Australia, and Africa. Among Barrick's South American operations is the Pascua Lama Project ("Pascua-Lama" or the "Project") a property under development as an open-pit mine that straddles the border between Argentina and Chile, and is expected to produce gold, silver, and related minerals.
On May 7, 2009, prior to the markets' open, Barrick issued a press release announcing that the Company's Pascua-Lama Project would proceed to construction. As part of the highlights of the Project, Barrick stated that Pascua-Lama had a "[p]re-production cost estimate of $2.8-$3.0 billion," that "[f]ully compliant environmental management and monitoring plans" had been developed, and that "[commissioning [was] expected in late 2012
and production in early 2013."
On April 10, 2013, prior to the markets' open, news outlets reported that the Appeals Court of Copiapo, Chile, had issued an order suspending work on the Pascua-Lama Project. In reaction to this news, Barrick's stock price fell $2.23 per share, or 8.3 percent, to close at $24.46. Then, on May 24, 2013, Chile's Superintendence of the Environment issued a resolution suspending the Pascua-Lama Project pending compliance with an environmental
permit, and imposing a fine equivalent to $16 million. In response to this development, trading in Barrick stock was halted for approximately three hours. After the Company's shares resumed trading, they closed at $19.16 per share, $0.39 per share, or 1.99 percent, below the prior day's close.
The Complaint alleges that the true facts, which were known by Defendants but concealed from Barrick's shareholders and the investing public during the Class Period, were that: (a) the Company knew that the costs of bringing the Pascua-Lama Project into production far exceeded any of Barrick's various publicly presented estimates; (b) the Pascua-Lama Project presented no reasonable expectation of coming into production within any of Barrick's various publicly presented time horizons; (c) the Pascua-Lama Project's environmental impact presented significantly greater risks to the Project and the Company than those disclosed by Defendants; and (d) as a result, Defendants had no reasonable basis for their statements regarding the cost, timing, and production estimates for the Pascua-Lama Project, and the reserves and earnings guidance for the Company that Defendants provided to investors.
On September 20, 2013, the Court approved the order to consolidate all related actions into Case No. 1:13-cv-03851; to be captioned: “In re Barrick Gold Securities Litigation,” and granted the Institutional Investor Group’s motion to be appointed as lead plaintiff in this case. The Court also approve the Institutional Investor Group’s selection of Motley Rice to serve as lead counsel.
On April 1, 2015, the Court issued an Order granting in part and denying in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss.
On May 27, 2016, the parties entered into a Stipulation of Settlement. This Settlement was preliminarily approved by the Court on June 15. On December 2, 2016, the Settlement was granted final approval and final judgment was entered.