Barrick Goldstrike Mines, Inc. v. Au Mining, Inc. et. al.
In the Summer of 2010, TLF successfully defended two Western Slope miners and their closely held company against fraud charges brought by Barrick Goldstrike Mines, Inc., a subsidiary of one of the largest gold mining companies in the world. Barrick charged Au Mining of “salting” shipments of gold ore mined outside of Lake City, Colorado with non-native gold that was allegedly precipitated from solution through “bucket chemistry”, as Barrick’s expert called it. Barrick claimed that the salting was done to artificially increase the perceived value of the shipments and sought millions of dollars of damages in overpayments. For close to three years, the parties prepared their cases for trial to a Gunnison, Colorado jury. That work included focused and intense testing and analysis of ore samples taken from the defendant’s mine and an examination of Barrick’s complex milling process in Nevada that produces gold bars. The gold contained in the samples were subjected to high powered electro-magnetic imaging by experts from both sides. Testimony at trial focused on the shape, or morphology, of the microscopic-sized gold crystals contained in the samples. After viewing the images and hearing from the parties’ experts during the course of the four week trial, the jury unanimously found in favor of the defendants, who were exonerated of all charges.