Chile’s environmental regulator SMA filed 4 prices on Thursday towards Lundin Mining (TSX: LUN) for a big sinkhole that appeared in July above an underground copper mine operated by the Canadian miner within the nation’s north.
The principle infractions are associated to extraction of ore past the permitted limits and development outdoors of environmentally accredited zones, the SMA stated.
The fees come because the regulator’s regional workplace concluded an investigation that hyperlinks the sinkhole on the Alcaparrosa mine’s property with overextraction of ore.
“As well as, when the occasion occurred, giant quantities of water started to leak into the mine from locations the place the corporate intervened past what was thought of within the environmental evaluation,” SMA’s superintendent Emanuel Ibarra stated within the assertion.
The invention of the 36.5-metre-diameter crater in Chile’s northern Atacama area grabbed headlines around the globe and fuelled hypothesis about doable causes.
Following the rapid halt of operations at Alcaparrosa, the SMA issued “pressing and transitory” measures whereas authorities carried out additional investigations.
Lundin has stated it continues its monitoring and technical evaluation within the space to determine the components that led to the formation of the notorious sinkhole.
The alleged overextraction was labelled as a “severe” infraction whereas modified mining infrastructure that might trigger “irreparable environmental harm” to an aquifer was referred to as “very severe.”
The 2 minor prices have been associated to infractions in transporting minerals.
The Toronto-based miner owns 80% of the property, whereas the remaining 20% is held by Japan’s Sumitomo Metallic Mining and Sumitomo Company.
Sinkholes are pits that type over areas the place water gathers underground with out exterior drainage, inflicting the water to carve out subterranean caverns. They typically type regularly over a few years, however may also open fairly instantly, taking vehicles, houses and streets down with them.
These cavities additionally type usually close to outdated and lively mines, the place giant quantities of rock and ore have been extracted, research have proven.
Alcaparrosa is one in every of two underground mines that make up the Ojos del Salado operation, inside Lundin’s Candelaria complicated.
The corporate now has 10 working days to enchantment the decision or to current an motion plan to deal with the infractions making use of to present environmental laws. If none of those actions are taken, Lundin dangers fines equal to greater than $13 million, closure or having its environmental allow revoked.