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15 Feb 2023


Chile: Environmental regulator issues new measures against Lundin Mining's copper mine after detecting new leaks around sinkhole opened last August

"Chile issues fresh measures against Lundin Mining for giant sinkhole", 15 February 2023

...Chile’s environmental regulator SMA said on Wednesday it had issued fresh measures against a copper mine owned by Canada’s Lundin Mining after detecting new leaks around a sinkhole that opened up last year near one of the company’s mines.

The huge 36-metre-diameter sinkhole that appeared in late July in the Tierra Amarilla commune, close to the Alcaparrosa mine, drew widespread global attention and saw Lundin being charged by authorities.

Together with extending six “urgent and transitory” measures that Lundin was asked to implement last year, the SMA issued four new mandatory actions, which seek to determine the reason for the lower levels in nearby aquifers.

“Based on new information provided by the company and through monitoring by the water authority, we can say there have been leaks around the Jocelyn and Gaby caves, with a flow that would have reached 80 litres per second,” the SMA said in the statement.

“These actions requested from the mining company must be carried out between 10 and 20 days, and subsequently be reported to the SMA for the corresponding analysis,” it added.

Chilean authorities, including the SMA superintendent Emanuel Ibarra, have said that preliminary investigations linked the sinkhole on the mine’s property to ore over extraction...