Chile regulator seeks sanctions against Lundin’s Candelaria mine

Chile regulator seeks sanctions against Lundin’s Candelaria mine

The Candelaria mining complex consists of an open pit mine and an underground mine providing copper ore to an on-site concentrator with a capacity of 75,000 tonnes per day.

Chile's environmental regulator SMA said on Wednesday it will seek sanctions against Lundin Mining’s (TSX:LUN) Candelaria copper mine in the country’s north for not complying with some of the country's environmental requirements.

Inspections that took place between 2013 and 2014, revealed 16 infractions, nine of which were considered very serious, the SMA said in an e-mailed statement.

The most severe violation, added the body, is the company’s failure to reduce use of fresh water from the area, as well as ongoing damage to groundwater from the Copiapo River.

The company has 10 days to submit a plan to correct the irregularities detected by the SMA or 15 days to appeal the charges.

Candelaria, which first went into production in 1993, had a roughly 14-year mine life when Lundin acquired the asset from Freeport in July last year, and two new discoveries extend the reserves life by around three years. The Susana and Damiana underground deposits are of a higher grade, are below the existing open pit at Candelaria and can be easily accessed from existing and new portals from the pit. The new deposits could come on stream within three years.

Lundin is a diversified base metals mining company that also has operations in Portugal, Sweden, Spain and the U.S.