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27 Apr 2022

Mining Technology

Chile: Environmental Superintendency charges Glencore's Lomas Bayas mine for impacts on water sources

SMA Chile

"Chilean watchdog starts sanction process against Glencore’s copper mine", 27 April 2022

...Chilean environmental regulator Superintendence of the Environment (SMA) has filed charges against Glencore’s Lomas Bayas copper mine due to non-compliance with water, flora and fauna monitoring.

The sanction process involves a ‘very serious’ charge for failing to monitor aquifer levels and a minor charge of not having defined the hydrologic and biotic profile in the river, SMA said.

It follows the conclusion of an investigation by SMA based on a complaint filed by Antofagasta’s General Directorate of Waters (DGA), citing a reduced number of Loa water frogs, a critically endangered species...

The SMA said the records were missing on the mine’s observation well and that the company failed to properly graph measurements such as water depth, pH, temperature and water conductivity in the aquifer.

The mining firm is now required to present a compliance programme within ten business days and formulate arguments in 15 business days...