Argentina judge suspends some of Barrick Gold's operations after spill but says waters safe

An Argentine judge investigating a cyanide spill at Barrick Gold's Veladero mine has temporarily suspended some operations by the world's largest gold mining company until the cause can be determined.

Judge Pablo Oritja suspended all operations by the Canadian company that use cyanide and said environmental impact can't be ruled out. But he added Tuesday that waters were not contaminated and would not be harmful to humans.

On Sept. 13, Barrick said a pipe carrying cyanide at the Veladero mine had a valve failure causing a leak into nearby waters. An investigation determined about 35,300 cubic feet (1,000 cubic meters) of liquid cyanide spilled.

Local residents have feared contamination of their water resources.

Barrick has declined to comment on the judicial decisions.