A Chilean court evaluating an appeal from London-listed Antofagasta (LON:ANTO) to a March decision that forces the company to demolish the dam wall for Los Pelambres copper mine, could soon make a final decision, local paper Diario Financiero reports (in Spanish).
The case centres on farmers claims that Antofagasta’s tailings dam, used to create a reservoir for mine waste, is responsible for a water shortage in the already dry area. The miner, in turn, says a raging seven-year drought affecting the entire country is to blame.
In April, La Serena appeals court sided with Antofagasta and unanimously rejected the lawsuit presented by residents of the local Caimanes community in central Chile, which also blamed the miner’s flagship Los Pelambres copper mine dam of drying up a local stream and contaminating underground water.
The court, however, did not decide on Antofagasta’s appeal to the ruling that ordered it to knock down part, or all, of the tailings dam wall. Such verdict, reports El Diario, should come soon, as a judge summoned the parties Thursday to a hearing where an expert will report on the adequacy of the natural drainage plan originally proposed by Antofagasta.
Los Pelambres copper mine, located 200km north of capital Santiago, is Antofagasta’s flagship asset, producing 2% of the world’s copper. The mine is still operating as the company waits for a final decision to its appeal.
is this a case of Chilean peasant ignorance hitting the wall?
Or is it a case of the Company not doing it’s homework on the effect of a tailing dam on local stream flows? Diversion channels for any flow into the Dam area would be a natural engineering consideration – was this ever done? If not, the company will have to suffer the consequences.
If you are ever unsure of what your responsibility is … some judge is willing tell you.
Best you be absolutely able to defend your position .