The Chilean environmental regulator SAM has imposed a $4.5m fine on Anglo American Sur, a subsidiary of London-based Anglo American, for breaching environmental regulations at its El Soldado copper mine.
El Soldado is one of the five copper mines operated by Anglo American Sur in the country, and is located around 80 miles from Santiago, in the district of Nogales, Region V.
According to the environment superintendent, the company has violated 16 environmental rules, which came to light during an inspection of the mine in 2013.
The breaches related to the management of reforestation, wildlife and rain water, and polluting water with sulphates and sodium, amongst others. Five are considered to be severe while the others were minor, the officials reported.
Anglo American Sur is working to address all the issues and, although the company has five days to appeal against the decision, it has not yet decided to do so.
Anglo American noted that it has already reforested about 130 acres and this will rise to more than 320 acres by the end of the year.
El Soldado mine produced around 46,900t, 53,894t and 51,500t of high-purity copper cathodes and concentrate in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively.
The El Soldado division consists of an open cut mine, an underground mine, crushing plants and oxide and sulphide ore treatment facilities.