New Wisdom Investment Limited

Andes Iron to fight for US$2.5B project

(Aug 28, 2017)

Private company Andes Iron is expected to fight for its controversial US$2.5 billion Dominga iron ore and copper mine and port project, which was rejected by Chilean authorities on environmental grounds this week.

In a translated statement, Andes Iron CEO Iván Garrido criticised the 3-2 decision and the process, saying the committee of ministers was summoned Friday night to resolve the project on Monday evening, not allowing members to review the complaint on its merits.

“The Dominga environmental impact study had a process of 3 and a half years, with deep technical and scientific studies and an investment of over US$300 million,” Garrido said.

“Therefore it is striking that it is resolved in this way.”

The company will reportedly appeal the decision by the Ministerial Committee for Sustainability.

The openpit project had an anticipated lifespan of 27 years and would produce 12 million tonnes of iron concentrate and 150,000t of copper concentrate per year.

In an open letter last week, scientists had said they were concerned about the planned port’s proximity to the Humboldt penguin reserve.

Concerns had previously been raised over former president Sebastian Pinera’s links to the project.

Further, the Santiago Times reported regional organisations had organised a peaceful protest on the weekend against “mega projects” threatening the La Higuera environment.

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