Chile environmental regulator eyes sanctions for Teck copper mine

Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:54pm EDT
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SANTIAGO, June 22 (Reuters) - Canada's Teck Resources is facing sanctions that could include a revoking of its permit over environmental infractions at its Carmen de Andacollo copper mine in Chile, the local regulator said on Monday.

Problems at the mine, located in the north-central region of Coquimbo, included openings in the deposit where the ore was stored and a failure to build sufficient water infrastructure, the regulator said in a statement.

Some of the charges were classified as "serious," which carries a maximum penalty of a $4 million fine or the withdrawal of the project's environmental permit.

The announcement of the sanctions process comes at a time when many miners operating in Chile, the world's top copper exporter, are trying to accommodate community concerns, against a backdrop of increased activism and a tougher stance on environmental damage by courts and government.

Teck has 10 days to present its plan to address the issues or 15 days to provide evidence. The company could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Leslie Adler)