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Dominga, the Chilean mining illusion that led Pinera to pandora leaves

The Dominga mining project in northern Chile has yet to be built: no trucks, no waste, no cranes. Despite still being an illusion and being lonely on paper, this lead location master, Sebastian Pinera, to pandora leaves He has put his government under control. Under some hills in the Coquimbo region, 500 kilometers from Santiago, lies one of the largest iron and copper reserves of Chile, the world’s leading copper producer. There will be the Dominga mine, belonging to the Chilean company Iron Andes which expects to invest $2,500 million to extract the minerals for 22 years.

The project, which has already caused a decade of environmental controversy due to its proximity to a nature reserve unique in the world, has been in the eye of the hurricane since Sunday with the claim that it Sold by the Piñera family in the British Virgin Islands. The Piñera family were major shareholders in Minera Dominga until 2010 when a businessman and friend of the president acquired it for $152 million, 138 of which were negotiated in the tax haven.

The investigation, led by Ciper and Labot in Chile, released a controversial clause in the Dominga sale contract that made the final payment conditional on “no establishment of an environmental protection zone over the area of ​​mine operations.” In addition to two open pits, the initiative includes the construction of a loading port within 30 kilometers of a national reserve containing 80% of Humboldt penguin species that hundreds of scientists from around the world have attempted to conserve for years. “The investigation raises many doubts about the project’s environmental assessment process and the fact that the area is not yet protected,” said Lisbeth van der Meer, director of Oceana, a non-governmental organization dedicated to ocean protection. Academic Carlos Gaimer, of the Universidad Católica del Norte, asserted that this bay is a “treasure of nature” and that its alteration could lead to the massive mortality of many birds, penguins and whales finding in it a resting and feeding area. “Building a mine here is like doing it in the Galapagos. It’s one of the 92 hot spoo(Hotspots) for biodiversity in the world.”

The Dominga project was rejected by an environmental commission in 2017, during the government of Michelle Bachelet, but last August, after Andes Iron appealed and the case was filed, it was approved by a 12-person body, April 11. Appointed by the Pinera government. (F)

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