BHP Group’s Cerro Colorado copper mine in northern Chile will be forced to bring mining activity to a halt after its environmental permit for the mine was nullified.
According to media reports, Chile’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of the local indigenous community in Tarapaca who raised a complaint that the miner was using excess water in a region that is already running low on the resource.
Lorenzo Soto, a lawyer for the indigenous group, said that the water pumped into Cerro Colorado has left surrounding wetlands almost entirely dried up, while also contaminating the remaining water.
In July last year, BHP planned to cut down operations at the mine, which produced 71,700mt of copper in 2019. The mine will come to the end of its life in 2023.