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BHP Escondida Copper Mine Charged with Water Misuse

Mining News - Published on Wed, 05 Aug 2020

Image Source: BHP Escondida Copper Mine
Chile’s environmental watchdog said on Friday it would charge BHP’s Escondida copper mine, the world’s largest, with drawing more water from the parched Chilean desert than its permits allowed for nearly 15 years. The SMA regulator said the mine had caused a sufficiently serious drop in the water table in one area that the violation could result in the revocation of its environmental permit, closure or a fine. It said “The company, despite committing to reduce its extraction of water exceeded the maximum level permitted since 2005, tripling that level in 2019.”

Chile’s northern desert, where BHP operates, is the world´s driest. Both copper and lithium miners there have for decades struggled to reduce their water intake to lessen impact on the environment and scarce water supplies.

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Posted By : Yogender Pancholi on Wed, 05 Aug 2020
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