(Recasts with background on Barrick, Marcet)
Dec 6 (Reuters) - Latin America will play an increasingly important role in Barrick Gold's growth strategy, the world's biggest gold miner said on Tuesday as it named a new director with decades of mining experience in that region.
The company said it had appointed Pablo Marcet to its board.
Marcet worked for 15 years for global miner BHP Billiton and was president of Northern Orion Resources' South American operations before the company was acquired by Yamana Gold.
"Mr. Marcet's deep operational and geopolitical experience in Latin America will be a vital asset as the company evaluates new investments in the region," Toronto-based Barrick said.
Several of Barrick's biggest gold projects are in Argentina and Chile, including the large, stalled Pascua-Lama venture, its more recent Alturas discovery and the Cerro Casale deposit. The projects are located along the gold-rich El Indio belt, where Barrick's existing Veladero mine is located.
Barrick said in September that it planned to work on a scaled-back development plan for Pascua-Lama, an $8.5 billion project that was put on hold in 2013 in response to a slump in gold prices, political opposition to the project, environmental issues and labor unrest. (Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Chris Reese, Jim Finkle)