The Environmental Assessment Service of Chile (SEA) has issued its formal decision (an RCA) to reject the environmental permit application for Anglo American’s Los Bronces Integrated Project (LBIP). The RCA follows SEA’s earlier recommendation to reject LBIP’s environmental permit application published on April 22.

Anglo American said it is examining the details of the RCA and expects to continue following the regulated permitting process in Chile, which includes the potential to request a review by a minister’s committee to evaluate the full breadth of merits of the project.

Anglo American said it will continue to work with SEA and the other appropriate regulatory authorities to make available any additional information or clarity that may be required in order to provide further reassurance of the positive impact of this project.

Los Bronces Integrated Project expands the current open pit within Los Bronces’ operating site and replaces future lower grade ore by accessing higher grade ore from a new underground section of the mine. The project uses the mine’s existing processing facilities, optimizes water efficiency, and requires no additional freshwater or tailings storage facilities. LBIP has been designed with the benefit of 10 years of scientific studies and a thorough and extensive consultation process with local communities and the relevant authorities. Mitigation measures will compensate for 120% of the emissions created by the project and Los Bronces’ current operations, both during construction and in operation, thereby improving air quality. The company said the result is a project that has been configured specifically to protect both the local environment, without any impact on biodiversity or on the nearby protected areas or glaciers, and human health.

LBIP represents a multibillion-dollar investment in the future of one of Chile’s largest copper mines and is an example of modern mining where the full range of sustainability considerations have been consulted on and designed in from the outset.