The Candelaria Miningone of the companies dedicated to the exploitation of copper in the north of Chiliinterrupted its activities after the sudden appearance of a huge sinkhole 32 meters in diameter and 64 meters deep that threatens a populated area in the region of yellow earthin the desert of Atacama.
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The suspension of the activity in the zone takes place after the Chilean national service of Geology and Mining (Sernageomin) initiate an official investigation, which if malicious could include serious penalties.
The sinkhole came to light earlier this week after a complaint of the inhabitants of this area of the desert Atacama but it was not until midweek when the sernageomin sent teams to assess the evolution of the abyss and asked the copper company to limit and prevent access to the area.
The first investigations indicate that it could be the collapse of a mansion or cave that appears once extract all the ore.
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“From the first moment that as a Government we became aware of what happened, there was coordination between the political authorities, technical organizations, the local government and the company to make the best decisions”explained to the press Carlos Ulloa Abarzuaregional secretary of Mining of the Atacama Region.
“In order to continue with the investigation headed by sernageominthis body resolved – in accordance with the powers granted by law – to temporarily suspend operations in the Caper Rose Mine and initiated a sanctioning procedure, stressed.
The mining company assured on Wednesday that everything was under control, that it did not know the reasons for the “detachment”, he avoided linking it to the “in-depth” work of his exploitation and offered his collaboration.
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However, the mayor of yellow earth, Cristóbal Zúñiga, insisted this Friday on his concern and stressed that it is not new, since the community has been denouncing for years the danger of living in an area surrounded by mining deposits that work at great depths.
the sinkhole “It continues to grow and it is something that has not been seen in our community. We request that it be possible to clarify what the reason is and why it occurred, what the reasons are, if the collapse is the product of the mining activity below or is it something of another nature”, Zuniga insisted.
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A PRECEDENT IN 2013
A similar event occurred in November 2013, also in yellow earthwhen a crater 20 meters long and 30 meters wide with a depth of 30 meters appeared due to the collapse of a mansion located 450 meters from the surface.
The crater appeared on a hill located in one of the seven most important mining operations that existed then in yellow earthand also near a populated area, which led neighbors to file a complaint.
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So, the person in charge of Atacama Mining demanded to poorthe company responsible, to immediately close the sinkhole, located about 600 meters from an inhabited area, and assured that it is “usual” that these types of incidents happen in large mines.
Tierras Amarillas is a community of the so-called “North Boy” of Chililocated about 800 kilometers north of the capital, in the region of Atacamawhich concentrates a large number of mining operations, mainly copper.