“Cerro Colorado acknowledges that the brand new measure will have an effect on operations and on its complete worth chain,” BHP mentioned in a press release on Tuesday, including it will adapt its operations.
At first, BHP will halt one among Cerro Colorado’s crops and function the remaining amenities with some limitations. It can additionally deliver ahead holidays for a “vital” body of workers, whereas others will earn a living from home.
“The adopted measures make it attainable to face the contingency in a accountable method. The ultimate selections are anticipated to be evaluated within the coming days in gentle of latest data obtainable,” it added.
The case pertains to a decision by the nation’s Supreme Courtroom in January final yr upholding native indigenous communities’ complaints in regards to the miner’s water use and impacts on wetlands. Such ruling was adopted in July by the highest environmental courtroom’s order to BHP to begin once more from scratch on looking for permits to function Cerro Colorado.
Since then, the identical First Environmental Courtroom has ordered two 90-day lengthy groundwater extraction halts, which BHP has persistently appealed.
BHP’s environmental licence for Cerro Colorado, which produced 68,900 tonnes of copper or about 1.2% of Chile’s whole copper output in 2020, runs till the tip of subsequent yr.
Copper corporations throughout Chile, the world’s high producer of the purple metallic, have been compelled in recent times to seek out different means to feed water to their mines as drought and receding aquifers have hampered operations. Many have sharply lowered use of continental freshwater or turned to desalination crops.
(With information from Reuters)