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Antofagasta to Appeal Court Ruling Against Los Pelambres Dam

10 Mar 2015 7:41 am

By Alex MacDonald

LONDON--Chilean copper producer Antofagasta PLC (ANTO.LN) said Tuesday that it will appeal a Chilean court ruling that requires the company to destroy part or all of a tailings dam wall at its flagship Los Pelambres copper mine due to concerns over a stream.

The Civil Court of Los Vilos in central Chile this week ruled that the company's plan to address the flow of the stream and its water quality isn't sufficient and doesn't allow the natural flow of the Pupio stream to the town of Caimanes. As a consequence Los Pelambres must destroy part or all of the tailings dam wall, the court ordered.

Antofagasta said it will appeal the court's decision and added that it is entitled to continue operating the dam during the appeal process.

The company's Los Pelambres unit submitted its plan in November following a Supreme Court ruling on Oct. 21, which was aimed at ensuring that the operation of the El Mauro tailings dam doesn't affect the stream's flow and water quality.

"Los Pelambres has undertaken significant works to ensure that the flow of the Pupio stream is not altered and that the operation of the tailings dam does not affect the quantity or quality of these waters and believes the implementation plan submitted to the court went beyond these requirements," the company said.

Antofagasta has also been hit by protests at the entrance to the Los Pelambres mine over the past week, which has reduced the mine's output by 5,000 metric tons. Los Pelambres is 240 kilometers north of Santiago and produced 391,300 tons of copper last year, or 56% of the company's total 704,800 tons of copper.

Write to Alex MacDonald at alex.macdonald@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 10, 2015 03:41 ET (07:41 GMT)

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