A huge chasm is being investigated in Chile – Il Post

Sernageomin, the Chilean body that deals with geology and mining, has begun to investigate a large chasm that opened over the weekend in the area where there is a copper mine managed by the Canadian company Lundin Mining. The chasm, which has a circular shape, a diameter of 25 meters and a depth of about 200, is located in the territory of the Alcaparrosa underground mine, near Tierra Amarilla, about 665 kilometers north of the capital Santiago. Technical analyzes are currently underway to determine the causes of the event and to understand whether its formation is attributable to some extent to the extraction activities.

David Montenegro, the director of Sernageomin, he said that the agency had been notified of the formation of the chasm on Saturday and that it had immediately sent some experts to the site, ordering the closure of the access areas to the mine area as a precaution. In a statement, Montenegro made it known that no materials were found at the bottom of the chasm, but only a lot of water.

The Alcaparrosa mine is one of two mines at the Ojos del Salado site, which are part of the Candelaria mining complex, controlled by Lundin and to a much lesser extent by a Japanese company. It provides about 5 percent of the raw material processed annually in the Candelaria complex, which according to data of the Chilean government cited by Bloomberg produces more than 118 thousand tons of copper every year.

In a press release, Lundin said the chasm did not create problems for the people who worked in the mine or for the infrastructure or people who live in the area (the closest house is more than 600 meters away and the first town is almost 1 kilometer away). distance). The company also added that it has temporarily halted all mining activities, arguing that the suspension of the works will have no impact on the site’s annual production. According to Lundin, the chasm has “remained stable” since it was first observed.

At the moment the causes that led to the formation of the chasm are not known. Speaking with local newspapers, the mayor of Tierra Amarilla, Cristóbal Zúñiga, however, showed some concern for what happened, asking the state bodies to clarify whether the activities of the mine have anything to do with it: “we are surrounded by mining sites and underground works, and we have always been afraid that such a situation would occur”, Zúñiga said.

The mining industry is extremely important for Chile, which is the world’s largest producer of copper and the second largest of lithium. The sector is going through a rather complicated time due to growing concerns about environmental protection expressed by both rural communities and the political world. There draft of the new Constitution, which will have to be approved by popular vote on 4 September, provides, among other things, for greater regulation for mining activities, for example by banning them near glaciers, where some of the largest copper mines are located. Lundin, which recently invested a billion dollars to consolidate its presence in Chile, would instead like to expand further, he noted. Bloomberg.

– Read also: It’s easy to say hole

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A huge chasm is being investigated in Chile – Il Post

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