barrick_cc_fc_web.jpgThe following news items were compiled from Associated Press reports.

Mining agreement

SANTO DOMINGO – Customs officials and Barrick Pueblo Viejo, a Canadian joint venture operating one of the world’s largest gold mines, reached agreement allowing authorities to inspect the company’s exports, ending a standoff that halted a shipment valued at nearly $12 million. 

The agreement came as the government tried to pressure the joint venture to renegotiate its royalty agreement and turn over more of its profits. The mine venture is 60 percent owned by the Barrick Gold Corp. of Toronto and 40 percent by Goldcorp Inc. of Vancouver. The companies last year reopened the Pueblo Viejo after investing nearly $4 billion, the largest direct foreign investment ever in the Dominican Republic. Under the contract, Barrick Pueblo Viejo has estimated it will pay to the government about $7 billion over the estimated 25-year life of the mine


Boost for charity
PORT-AU-PRINCE – J/P Haitian Relief Organization, an aid group run by Hollywood actor Sean Penn, announced it is getting $8.75 million from the World Bank to help move Haitians off a golf course where many have been living since the January 2010 earthquake. A statement from a public relations firm for Penn said the money will go for rent subsidies or for new housing units. Some 14,000 people still live at the Petionville Club in plywood shacks; 60,000 sought shelter there at one point. The people are to be moved out by early 2014.


Tourist declines
KINGSTON – Opposition lawmaker Edmund Bartlett has spoken out against “alarming” declines in tourist arrivals in key markets. He said over the last quarter visitors declined 14 percent from Canada and 12 percent from the U.K. The U.S. market has been flat.

In a recent speech, Tourism Minister Wykeham McNeill said persistently tough economic times in key markets like the U.K. and North America have “substantially affected” the industry and a “transition” was occurring in local tourism. Prospects for the sector were bright, he added, pointing to potential for growth from Latin America and Eastern Europe.

15-year sentence
KINGSTON  — Christopher “Dog Paw” Linton, leader of the notorious Dog Paw gang in northern St. Andrew that has been tied to multiple extortions, shootings and murders, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for shooting with intent at police and another 15 years for illegal weapon possession. A judge ruled that he will serve the time  concurrently. Linton was arrested in January 2011 and convicted in February. He still faces two other charges, including three counts of murder and one count of shooting at police.