Chilean regulator decides to sanction Glencore for monitoring mines


The logo of commodities trader Glencore is pictured outside the company’s headquarters in the Swiss town of Baar November 20, 2012. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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SANTIAGO, April 26 (Reuters) – Chile’s environmental regulator said on Tuesday it had launched a sanction procedure against Glencore’s Lomas Bayas copper mine (GLEN.L) for failure to comply with water monitoring, flora and fauna in its operating area.

An investigation led to a “very serious” charge of failing to monitor aquifer levels and a minor charge of failing to define the hydrological and biotic profile of the river, Chile’s superintendent of Environment (SMA) in a press release.

The SMA said the mine lacked records on an observation well and did not correctly graph measurements such as water depth, pH, temperature and water conductivity in the pit. ‘aquifer. The government also said it had failed to establish permanent monitoring stations on the river.

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The Chilean water authority filed the complaint with the SMA, citing a decrease in the number of Loa water frogs, a critically endangered species.

According to Chilean law, “very serious” violations can result in the revocation of environmental permits, the closure of mines or fines of up to the equivalent of $8 million.

Glencore, an Anglo-Swiss mining and trading company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter. Its Lomas Bayas mine, located in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, produced 64,300 tons of copper in 2021.

The company has 10 working days to submit a compliance program and 15 working days to make arguments.

In February, the company submitted a request to extend the exploitation of the deposit and maintain a production capacity of 80,000 tonnes of copper per year, with investments of 250 million dollars.

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Reporting by Fabián Andrés Cambero; Written by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Paul Simao

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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