Chilean mid-sized miner Minera Don Alberto has submitted an environmental impact assessment (EIA) to the environment ministry (MMA) for a US$5mn project to build a new tailings disposal dam for its Las Vacas processing plant in northern region IV.
The new dam will ensure operational continuity at the processing plant, as the current facilities can only keep operating for another 18 months, according to the EIA.
In June, the company submitted another EIA - currently under evaluation - aimed at regulating the Las Vacas plant itself, which has been operating for decades without ever passing through an environmental evaluation process.
The plant, which recently underwent a US$2mn expansion project to increase processing capacity by 127,750t/y to a total of 292,000t/y, produces fine copper and gold from ore being fed by the Termas mine, owned by mid-sized company Minera Termas.
Minera Don Alberto was the owner of the El Bronce copper mine in central region V, which was recently acquired by the mining branch of local conglomerate Copec.