September 29, 2022

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Chile searches for ‘consequences’ on a pit near a copper mine

Chile’s Minister of Mining said on Monday that his country will seek to impose harsh penalties on those responsible for a huge hole near a copper mine in the north of the country.

The mysterious 36.5-meter-diameter crater that appeared in late July sparked a mobilization by local authorities and prompted the mining regulator to suspend operations of a nearby mine owned by Canada’s Lundin. (LUN.TO) In the northern region of Candelaria.

“We will go ahead with the consequences, the penalties, not just the fine,” Mining Minister Marcela Hernando said in a press release, adding that fines are insignificant and the ruling should be “exemplary” for mining companies.

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The Chilean authorities did not provide details of the investigation into the causes of the sinkhole.

Local and foreign media published various aerial photos of a huge crater in a field near the Lundin mining operation, 665 kilometers north of the Chilean capital. Initially, the crater, near the town of Tierra Amarilla, was about 25 meters (82 ft) wide, with water visible at the bottom. Read more

The Canadian company owns 80% of the property, while Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining owns the remaining 20%. (5713.T) Sumitomo Corp. (8053.T).

The minister added that although the country’s mining regulator inspected the area in July, it was unable to detect this “over-exploitation”.

“It also makes us believe that we have to reformulate what our inspections are,” she said.

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(Reporting by Fabian Andrés Cambero) Written by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Leslie Adler

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