A Chilean environmental regulator has recommended that global miner Anglo American’s Los Bronces copper project not be granted an extension permit involving a planned $3.3 billion investment, the company said on Saturday.
Anglo American said Chile’s Environmental Assessment Service had issued the recommendation although a firm decision on the mine’s life extension would only come next week.
“The SEA’s recommendation is despite the strong support for the project offered to date by 23 of the 25 technical services bodies and government ministries that form part of the assessment process,” Anglo American said in a statement.
Environmental advocates have criticized the Los Bronces project, located near Chilean capital Santiago, because of its potential impact on a local glacier as well as on water availability for the region.
The company is seeking to extend the life of the mine through 2036.
Chile is the world’s top copper producer and Los Bronces is a large mine with a capacity to produce over 300,000 tonnes of the red metal each year.
Anglo American said an adverse decision on the extension would not affect production guidance for the year 2022.
(By Fabian Cambero; Editing by Andrea Ricci)