Goldcorp announced that the Supreme Court of Chile issued a decision on April 27, 2012, suspending the approval of the environmental permit for the El Morro copper-gold project. The approval was issued March 14, 2011. The ruling states the permit is suspended until such time as certain deficiencies specifically identified in a paragraph of the Antofagasta Court of Appeals decision are corrected by the Chilean environmental permitting authority (the Servicio de Evaluación Ambiental or SEA).
Sociedad Contractual Minera El Morro, which is owned 70% by Goldcorp and 30% by New Gold Inc., immediately suspended all project field work being executed under the terms of the permit. Safety and security staff will continue to work to protect the public, project equipment and facilities under construction. Activities not related to site construction, such as detailed engineering, design work and architectural planning, will remain under way.
El Morro will meet with SEA officials to confirm the scope of permitted activities pending SEA’s compliance with the court’s decision. Until the SEA advises El Morro how it intends to proceed, the specific actions to be taken and time required to complete those actions cannot be determined. However, El Morro expects the process will include additional meetings with the Comunidad Agricola Los Huasco Altinos, who requested the permit review, to consult on the potential impacts of the project on the Comunidad Agricola Los Huasco Altinos and to identify mitigation measures for those impacts. El Morro will co-operate with SEA to ensure that deficiencies are fully and appropriately addressed.