The Environmental Assessment Service of Chile (SEA) has recommended rejecting the permitting application for the expansion of Anglo American’s Los Bronces mine, citing a lack of information during the evaluation process.
London- and Johannesburg-listed Anglo American said on Monday that it believed it had provided all appropriate information throughout the evaluation process and that information had been shared through formal meetings and written submissions.
The SEA, reportedly, stated that the information did not fully remove doubts about the project’s potential risk to public health.
The project did satisfy all relevant environmental regulation, with strong support to date by 23 of the 15 technical services bodies and government Ministries that formed part of the assessment process.
A decision on the Los Bronces Integrated Project (LBIP) permit application would be announced within the next week, Anglo American stated.
The miner noted that, in the event of a negative decision from the SEA, the permitting process allowed for further review to evaluate a full range of merits of the project alongside the technical permitting considerations.
“Anglo American is committed to following the established process and is working with the Chilean authorities to demonstrate that all potential impacts have been fully mitigated and to secure approval for the project,” the company said.
LBIP is a mine life extension project, which expands the current openpit within Los Bronces’ operating site and replaces future lower grade ore by accessing higher grade ore from a new underground section of the mine.
The project uses the mine’s existing processing facilities and requires no additional water or tailings storage facilities.
Anglo American stated that its copper production guidance in respect of 2022 and 2023 remained unchanged,