dominican-republic-flag_web.jpgThe CEO of the world's largest gold company says production will start this month at the Pueblo Viejo mine.

Barrick Gold Corp. CEO Jamie Sokalsky said the mine, which has an investment of about $3.8 billion, is “essentially complete.”

He told analysts and investors on a conference call July 26 that Pueblo Viejo is expected to produce up to 125,000 ounces of gold this year and to reach full production in 2013.

Pueblo Viejo is a joint venture of Toronto-based Barrick and Goldcorp Inc. of Vancouver. It is expected to be among the world's most productive gold mines and is the largest private investment ever in the Dominican Republic.

The project is operating at the site of a former state-owned mine that caused extensive environmental damage.