Global Mining Company is Ready Abandon Multi-Billion Worth Mine Expansion in Chile

Home » Global Mining Company is Ready Abandon Multi-Billion Worth Mine Expansion in Chile

Anglo-American Plc links its next big mining investment to independent environmental studies and the reception of local communities in the glacier land of the Andes.

The 150 years old Los Bronces copper mine is located in the Valparaiso Region of Chile, 65 km north of the capital, and as such it is close to the famous Andean glaciers. It’s the largest copper mine of the world that is being operated by a multinational company.

To prevent an expected downturn in extraction, Anglo-American Plc has to invest into new technology. To avoid the damage to the nearby glaciers, the mining company has to drill multiple underground tunnels.

The rising global temperatures have not left the glaciers of South America untouched either. Chile is the home of more than 24 thousand glaciers, that’s one-fifth you can find on this continent. The glaciers sitting beside the Los Bronces mine – such as the Juncal Norte – feed the capital Santiago with clean water.

Chilean academics and climatologists, flanked by the global environmental community, state that glaciers affected by mining dust melt at a faster rate then others with no mining activity nearby.

Former president Michelle Bachelet was a strong supporter of special protections, but her glacier protection bill was defeated last Juny, much to the delight mining community. The mining sector accounts 10% of the Chile’s GDP. Joaquin Villarino, president of Chile’s Mining Council, said that 70% of the mining activities takes place where no glaciers are around. ’Authorities need to look for a reasonable balance between the productive sector and civil society because all of Chile can’t be declared a national park.’

Anglo-American Plc insists that every environmental concern has been taken into consideration. According to their data, the mine expansion project won’t have any impact on the nearby glaciers. Any other indications, and the project won’t move any forward – says Henni Faul, who heads the copper business. The London-based company files for the proper permits and environmental licences nevertheless.

Anglo initiates dialogue with the local communities about the expansion for the second quarter. Faul emphasizes that a significant opposition would also put an end to the 3 billion worth project.


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