With the environmental permit for the Los Bronces Integrated Project, the company will enter the next phase of development of the existing open pit within the copper mine’s operating site

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Anglo American gets environmental permit for $3bn Los Bronces expansion. (Credit: Minna from Pixabay)

Anglo American said that the Committee of Ministers in Chile has approved the environmental permit application for the $3bn extension project of its Los Bronces copper mine in the country.

With the environmental permit for the Los Bronces Integrated Project, the company will enter the next phase of development of the existing open pit within the copper mine’s operating site.

Besides, the project will replace future lower grade ore at the Los Bronces copper mine by accessing higher grade ore from a new underground portion.

Anglo American base metals business CEO Ruben Fernandes said: “We welcome the decision from the Committee of Ministers in support of our ongoing investment in Los Bronces – securing the long term future of one of the world’s largest copper mines.

“We have designed the Los Bronces Integrated Project as an example of the very best of modern mining, bringing not only investment and jobs, but extensive protection for the environment and a considerable improvement in air quality for the broader region of Santiago.”

Anglo American said that the Los Bronces Integrated Project will make use of the mine’s existing processing facilities and optimise water efficiency without leaving any impact on glaciers.

Furthermore, the project does not require additional fresh water or tailings facilities.

The mining company will now proceed with the project through its pre-feasibility stages towards submission for approval by its board in due course.

Los Bronces is considered to be one of the largest copper mines in the world. With a presence of 150 years in the high mountain range of the metropolitan region, the copper mine has been producing copper, molybdenum, and cathodes.

In May 2022, the Environmental Assessment Service of Chile (SEA) formally rejected the environmental permit application for the extension project.