Barrick Gold Chilean mine hit by protest

City A.M. Reporter
A GROUP of indigenous Chileans have asked the country’s Supreme Court to revoke the environmental license of Barrick Gold’s Pascua-Lama gold mine, it emerged last night.

The Copiapo Court of Appeals last week ordered a freeze on construction at the project, until the company builds infrastructure to prevent water pollution. However, it did not terminate the project.

“Given the harm caused, this environmental permit has proved itself to be illegal and illegitimate,” Lorenzo Soto, who represents the group of Diaguitas, told Reuters.

“The project has to remain suspended until it is completely re-evaluated.” He estimated the Supreme Court could issue a ruling around the end of the year.

The court is likely to back the Copiapo’s ruling, said Luis Cordero, a law professor at the Universidad de Chile. But “the likelihood the environmental permit will be revoked is lower,” he added.

Barrick has stopped construction on the project and submitted a plan for water management infrastructure to Chile’s environmental regulator, the SMA.