The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Barrick’s gold processing plant under construction at the Pascua-Lama project in Argentina.
Barrick’s gold processing plant under construction at the Pascua-Lama project in Argentina.
(REUTERS)

SEAN SILCOFF

Canadian miners stare down a deep hole in Argentina

ROB Insight is a premium commentary product offering rapid analysis of business and economic news, corporate strategy and policy, published throughout the business day. Visit the ROB Insight homepage for analysis available only to subscribers.

You have to have a sense of adventure and humour to do business in Argentina, or at least a deluded sense of hope that the country might some day get its economic act together. But even the patience of committed foreign investors can wear thin, as happened when Brazilian mining giant Vale this month suspended a giant potash development project. Canadian investors should take note: several mining companies, including Barrick Gold Corp., have made significant bets on Argentina that have already proven costlier than expected, and could go south if the country’s sorry economic state worsens. That seems likely.