Chile to seek ‘consequences’ for sinkhole near copper mine

SANTIAGO, Aug 8 — Chile will seek to impose tougher sanctions on those responsible for a massive sinkhole near a copper mine in the country’s north, the mining minister said on Monday.

A mysterious 36.5 meter diameter hole in late July mobilized local authorities and prompted mining regulators to suspend operations at a nearby mine owned by Canada’s Lundin. (LUN.TO) In the northern district of Candelaria.

“We will go all the way with consequences, not just fines,” Mines Minister Marcela Hernando said in a press release, adding that fines are negligible and that the decision should be “exemplary” for mining companies.

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Chilean officials have not released details of the investigation into the cause of the sinkhole.

Local and foreign media showed various aerial images of the large hole in a field near the Lundin mining operation, about 665 kilometers north of the Chilean capital. Initially, the hole near the town of Tierra Amarilla, about 25 meters (82 ft) across, showed water at the bottom. Read on

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

The minister added that although the country’s mining regulator inspected the sector in July, it was not able to detect this “overexploitation”.

“So we feel we have to improve our vetting process,” she said.

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Reporting by Fabian Andres Cambero; Writing by Carolina Pulis; Edited by Leslie Adler

Our Standards: Principles of Thomson Reuters Trust.

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