Chile

The regulator’s order was challenged by the company in court.

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The Supreme Court in Chile ratified the definitive closure of controversial Pascua Lama gold and mining project owned by Canadian miner Barrick Gold Corporation. The country’s environmental regulator had ordered shutdown of the mine earlier in 2018 over serious environmental issues.

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In its ruling, the top court upheld all the three allegations put forward by the environmental regulator. The regulator had cited that the project in Chile’s Atacama region straddling the border of northern Chile and Argentina may likely cause damages to native flora and fauna. It had also pointed out serious potential violations such as not fully monitoring melting rates of nearby glaciers and dumping of acidic waters into natural waterways.

The regulator’s order was challenged by the company in court. However, an environmental court in 2020 had upheld the shutdown order. In addition, the company was ordered to pay a fine of around $7 million.

The project had faced strong opposition from environmental organizations and local indigenous communities, who alleged that the operation of the mine could lead to water scarcity in the region and serious impacts on nearby glaciers.

The Pascua Lama open pit mine contains estimated deposits of 17 million ounces of gold and 635 million ounces of silver.

 





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