Chile has rejected the permits for Andes Iron’s controversial $2.5bn Dominga copper and iron mining project, reported Reuters citing Chile Environment Minister Maisa Rojas

The comments were made during a press conference at the environment ministry in Chile’s capital city Santiago.

According to the news agency, Rojas said that Chile’s committee of ministers voted unanimously to reject the project due to its potential impacts on water sources, wildlife, air quality and marine-protected areas.

Rojas said: “The evaluation was made considering multiple aspects that had to be evaluated, multiple reports that had to be considered. It was a robust decision.”

The mining project was planned to be located 500km north of Santiago near ecological reserves. However, it has faced opposition from communities and environmentalists due to its impact on the environment.

Reuters quoted a statement by Andes Iron: “The Dominga project doesn’t just comply, but exceeds all standards and is aligned with principles established by the government for sustainable industrial and mining projects.”

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Expected to create 10,000 direct and 25,000 indirect construction jobs, the project planned to involve the construction of two open-pit mines in the La Higuera Communez.

It also included a mineral processing plant, a water desalination plant, and a seaport shipping terminal in the Chilean town of Totoralillo Norte.

The project was expected to produce up to 12 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of iron concentrate and 150,000tpa of copper.