The Chilean environmental regulator has imposed a CLP3.8bn ($6.2m) penalty on Anglo American’s subsidiary Anglo American Sur for environmental regulation breaches at its Los Bronces copper mine.
The regulator cited various violations at the project between 2013 and 2014, including one issue that caused irreparable damage to surrounding land.
Chile’s Superintendence for the Environment (SMA) said acid drainage at the Donoso waste dump has been a problem for the past nine years and the company has failed to address it.
The agency ordered Anglo to close the tailings deposit until a definitive solution is implemented.
SMA also identified lack of implementation of forest management plans associated with the project.
Anglo American stated that the SMA’s order will not impact upon the mine’s production schedule and was quoted by Reuters as saying: "The company is analysing the regulator’s decision to decide what course of action to take."
Located in Andes near Santiago, Los Bronces is an open pit mine with two processing plants and Las Tórtolas flotation facility.
The project is 50.1%-owned by Anglo American, while Mitsubishi, Codelco and Mitsui own 20.4%, 20% and 9.5% stakes.
Last year, Los Bronces produced 436,900t of copper, representing 7% of Chile’s overall output.
Image: Anglo American’s Los Bronces copper mine in Chile. Photo: courtesy of Bechtel Corporation.