The environmental impact statement includes extending mining operations until 2029 at Lomas Bayas copper mine (above). (Photo: Glencore)

The Lomas Bayas mining company, a subsidiary of Glencore, located in northern Chile, submitted an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to extend its mining operations and life span for another six years until 2029. The proposal includes an investment of US$250 million and will maintain Lomas Bayas production levels of around 80,000 tons of copper per year until 2029. The investment also includes seven more years for the closure and post-closure phase.

The scope of the project contemplates different expansions in existing works, such as heap leaching pads, dumping areas, pits and improvements to a contour channel for the management of rainwater. As for the necessary water supply, this will be provided by an authorized contractor through a connection to the existing aqueduct located at Sierra Gorda, according to the company. As a result, the Lomas Bayas mine will no longer use the rights to exploit surface and underground water that it currently has in the Loa River and the Calama aquifer.