The Chilean government reported yesterday that a sinkhole 32 meters in diameter and 64 meters deep appeared in the Atacama desert near a copper mine, a situation that keeps the surrounding inhabitants on alert.
After the authorities were informed about this situation in the municipality of Tierra Amarilla, experts traveled to the place, about 800 km north of the capital, where the giant hole appeared. This was announced by the National Mining Subdirectorate of the National Geology and Mining Service (Sernageomin) in a statement and on social networks.
Due to the appearance of this sinkhole, the Chilean government established a security perimeter of 100 meters that was placed around the sinkhole, located within the land of the Alcaparrosa de Candelaria mine, run by the Canadian Lundin Mining.
According to a statement issued by the company, “there was no impact on personnel, equipment or infrastructure” and the sinkhole has remained stable since its appearance.
Specialized local media also reported that no people have been injured so far.
⚠️ A gigantic sinkhole of approximately 25 meters in diameter occurred yesterday in the Alcaparrosa Mine of Minera Candelaria (Tierra Amarilla, Atacama region).
No injured people were registered, in addition to suspending operations in the nearby sector. pic.twitter.com/lpFdZj0ugX
— Geoscientific Network of Chile (@RedGeoChile)
August 1, 2022
In addition, as part of the preventive measures, the company indicated that the sinkhole has not shown any movement and that “development work in an area of the Alcaparrosa underground mine has been temporarily suspended.”
Preliminary information indicates that specialists and mining personnel seek to “clarify the causes and ensure that all security measures are taken to safeguard the lives of workers and communities near the site,” said David Montenegro, director of the National Geology Service. and Mining.
Likewise, Montenegro added that professionals and specialists toured and reviewed the area “to see if there are any cracks and entered the mine to see its real state.”
The giant sinkhole caused surprise in the nearly 13 thousand inhabitants of Tierra Amarilla.
For his part, the mayor of the municipality of Tierra Amarilla, Cristian Zúñiga, informed local media that the population has always feared incidents due to mining operations in the area.
In this way, he also assured that “this huge sinkhole is something that had not been seen in our community. We request that it be possible to clarify why this event occurred, if the collapse is the product of mining activity or if it is of another nature”.
It should be remembered that Chile is the world’s leading producer of copper.with more than 25% of the global supply.
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