Work on the Los Pelambres desalination plant project, in Chile, has been placed on hold, to allow for the recovery of equipment that sunk when a construction platform collapsed last month.
On August 15, tidal waves overturned a construction platform working on the marine works of the desalination project of Antofagasta.
Chile’s SMA environmental regulator previously said that the structure that collapsed included a crane and a generator with a fuel and oil tank.
Some of the equipment and materials lost had already been recovered, Antofagasta said on Monday, but noted that severe sea swells continued, impeding recovery work.
SMA on Friday ordered Antofagasta to place marine works on hold to allow for the clean-up of remaining sunk equipment carrying fuel or lubricants.
“The recovery of the lost equipment and materials is underway and is expected to be completed once weather conditions improve. To date, there has been no material impact to the expected completion date of the overall desalination plant project,” the company said.
The desalination project will turn Los Pelambres into the first mining operation that uses seawater to produce copper in Chile’s central region, and it will benefit both the existing and expanded operation in cases of prolonged or severe drought.
Construction is set to be finished by year-end.