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19 May 2016


Chile: Following local protests over access to water, Antofagasta mine reaches deal with part of the community; lawsuit to stop dam continues

“Antofagasta signs deal in Chile to end protests at mine”

…Residents of the small town of Caimanes in central Chile have blamed the dam for drying up the local river valley. They took Antofagasta to court and blockaded roads in a case that has threatened work at one of the world's biggest copper mines…The deal, reached with representatives of Caimanes, "addresses certain requirements set down by courts in Chile and will see Los Pelambres invest in future water supply solutions, safety measures, community development projects and compensation," company Chairman Jean-Paul Luksic told shareholders at the annual general meeting in London…However, other protest leaders said that not everyone in the community had agreed to the deal, and litigation to have the dam demolished will continue…. "The community is split ... This agreement does not stop the legal action in any way."…An Antofagasta spokesman said that around 81 percent of the community had already signed the agreement, and that number would likely rise. However, the court action did not form part of the deal, he said…