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Further study is needed to explain the origin of the Chilean dip: unit president Lundin

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News Tech: SANTIAGO, Aug 25 (Reuters) – Multiple factors could have caused a sinkhole near a copper mine in Chile owned by Canada’s Lundin Mining (LUN.TO), the president of the miner’s local unit said, disagreeing with a government assessment that it was likely responsible for the phenomenon.

Ojos del Salado’s president, Luis Sanchez, said the assessment only takes into account nearby mining activity, which alone could not explain the formation of the sinkhole that has grown to a diameter of 36.5 meters (39.9 yards).

Chile’s environmental regulator SMA last week issued a series of measure against the Ojos del Salado mine, run by Lundin’s local unit, alleging its “over-extraction of material” could have caused the sinkhole. read more

“This phenomenon is clearly due to multiple factors in our opinion and in order to elucidate the origin it is necessary to analyze all these factors,” said Sanchez in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday.

Sanchez said Lundin’s studies show the subsoil in the area has a clay-calcareous composition, which “could have caused a progressive degeneration” that leads to sinkholes.

Sanchez also pointed to heavy rains two weeks prior to the sinkhole’s formation that in three days dropped more precipitation than in 2017, last decade’s wettest year. Lundin owns 80% of the mine near the sinkhole, and 20% is held by Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining (5713.T) and Sumitomo Corp (8053.T).

Sanchez said Lundin has not been notified of any sanctions or responsibility over the sinkhole and continues to work on studies requested by Chile’s environmental regulator SMA. RegisterReporting by Fabián Andrés Cambero; Editing by Tom Hogue

Source: Reuters Trust Principles.

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