Canadian miner Rio2 said its subsidiary Fenix Gold Limitada has filed an administrative appeal to a July decision to not approve the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for its Fenix Gold project in Chile.
On review of the environmental qualification resolution (RCA), Rio2 said it “has identified numerous discrepancies with factual and procedural matters … [that] provide grounds for a strong case for the decision to be reviewed in a non-judicial administrative appeal before a Committee of Ministries.”
The Committee of Ministries has the faculties to reverse the decision made at the regional level. It is composed of the Ministries of Environment (chairman), Health, Economy, Agriculture, Energy and Mining. The national director of the Environmental Assessment Service is the secretary of the committee.
In parallel with the administrative appeal process, Rio2 said it will work closely with regional authorities to conduct additional observations of fauna in the Fenix project area and to agree on new voluntary commitments, if required, to address any remaining concerns.
The appeal process is expected to take a year. If the appeal is unsuccessful, preparation and resubmission of a new EIA is estimated to take two years.
Located in the Atacama Region, the Fenix Gold project is one of the largest undeveloped gold oxide, heap leach projects in the Americas, hosting a Measured and Indicated mineral resource of 5 million ounces of gold.