Big win for Goldcorp's $3.9 billion El Morro mine in Chile
A Chilean appeals court has rejected an attempt to halt Goldcorp's (TSX:G), (NYSE:GG) $3.9 billion El Morro gold and copper mine, clearing the way for the project to go ahead.
However, reports local newspaper La Tercera (in Spanish), indigenous communities have warned they would appeal the ruling to the country's Supreme Court.
The Copiapó appeals court preventively froze the project in November last year, after accepting a plea from the same indigenous group, the Diaguitas, who insisted the Canadian gold miner had not conducted the required consultation in the way it should have to regain its mining licence. They also said the mine could pollute a local river.
The court initially halted construction of the project in 2012, telling Goldcorp it needed to fully consult with the local indigenous community.
And while it ruled in October last year that the company had sufficiently consulted with the Diaguita community, the indigenous group appealed the decision forcing Goldcorp to once again suspend the project.
Goldcorp holds a 70% stake in El Morro. New Gold (TSX:NGD) owns the other 30%. Due to begin operations in 2017, the mine has proven and probable reserves totalling 6.7 million ounces of gold and 4.9 billion pounds of copper.