September 26, 2019 / 10:49 PM / 2 months ago

Chile court sends $2.5 billion Dominga copper project for environmental review

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - The $2.5 billion Dominga copper mining project in Chile will have to be reviewed again by an environmental tribune, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, to consider demands made by environmental groups and claims by parent company Andes Iron.

The copper concentrate and iron mining project would be located about 500 kilometers north of Chilean capital Santiago, near ecological reserves. Critics say its proximity to environmentally sensitive areas would cause ecological damage, a claim that privately held Andes Iron dismisses.

The years-long evaluation of and legal battle over Dominga has drawn criticism from the business community and conservative politicians, who say politics have played an oversized role in the process.

The First Environmental Court of Antofagasta “will review and decide the merits of the matter under discussion,” the Supreme Court said in its decision.

Dominga has become a symbol of the difficulties some major projects have had with permitting in recent years in mining powerhouse Chile.

Reporting by Erik Lopez and Natalia Ramos, writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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