Giant Sinkhole Swallows Chilean Land Owned By Canadian Mining Company

A sinkhole initially measured at 82 toes large and 650 toes deep opened outdoors the Chilean city of Tierra Amarilla on land owned by Canada’s Lundin Mining firm over the weekend, based on Vice.

The Nationwide Service of Geology and Mining (Sernageomin) announced on Twitter that it first observed the melancholy on Saturday. The sinkhole appeared close to the Alcaparrosa copper mine in a comparatively unpopulated a part of the Atacama area 400 miles north of the Santiago capital.

On Tuesday, Sernageomin acknowledged that the sinkhole was wider than first thought, measuring at roughly 105 toes throughout.

“There is a considerable distance … to the bottom,” Sernageomin director David Montenegro mentioned in a press release. “We haven’t detected any material down there, but we have seen the presence of a lot of water.”

Lundin Mining mentioned in a press release Monday that “upon detection, the area was immediately isolated and the relevant regulatory authorities notified. There has been no impact to personnel, equipment, or infrastructure,” and added that the sinkhole has since remained secure.

Regardless of the dearth of accidents or fatalities, nevertheless, Tierra Amarilla Mayor Cristóbal Zúñiga informed Ciudadano ADN Radio the city experiences every day tremors emanating from the mining website that “have destroyed our houses and our streets, and today, destroyed the ground.”

“Today it happened in a space that’s an agricultural property, but our greatest fear now is that this could happen in a populated place, on a street, in a school,” Zuñiga informed Ciudadano ADN, based on a Vice translation. “Protecting the integrity of our inhabitants is our greatest concern at the moment.”

Tierra Amarilla’s mayor mentioned his neighborhood “always had a fear that something like this would happen.”

JOHAN GODOY by way of Getty Photos

The 25-year-old mayor reminded listeners that Lundin Mining got here beneath fireplace from the federal government earlier than. In July 2021, Chile’s environmental regulator filed expenses towards the corporate for violating agreements by breaching its operational permits at a unique mine, based on Reuters.

“The government, Sernageomin, and this company must be held responsible and be investigated quickly regarding what happened and why,” Zuñiga informed Ciudadano ADN. “Sernageomin must get its act together and do a good job and clarify what the reason is, and if it is connected to mining activity, or due to nature.”

Lundin Mining primarily targets copper, gold, nickel and zinc and in addition operates in Brazil, Argentina, Sweden, Portugal and america, based on its web site. The corporate’s assertion mentioned it “temporarily suspended” work in Tierra Amarilla “as a preventative measure.”

Zúñiga, who informed Ciudadano ADN that his neighborhood “has always had a fear that something like this could happen,” mentioned these assurances aren’t sufficient. Latin America has seen an unlimited improve in overseas mining corporations following the North American Free Commerce Act of 1994, based on Vice. Canada alone has since signed agreements with Chile, Peru, Panama, Colombia and Honduras that let it to extract pure sources.