Sinkhole stops operations at Lundin’s Minera Ojos del Salado

Officials from Chile’s National Geology and Mining Service agency Sernageomin has ordered the suspension of operations at Lundin Mining’s Minera Ojos del Salado complex after a sinkhole developed at the Alcaparrosa underground copper mine, part of the Candelaria operation.

The sinkhole, which has most recently measured 50 meters in diameter and 200 meters deep but appears to be stable, has been isolated with a security perimeter. No personnel, infrastructure or equipment were affected.

It was first detected on 30 July and confirmed by Lundin on 1 August. The mine is located about 665 kilometers north of Santiago.

Once Sernageomin learned of the sinkhole, it said its emergency operating committee of the institution was activated both from its central level and from the Atacama region, to coordinate the respective courses of action. According to Reuters, the hole was initially 25 meters across with visible water.

Lundin Mining officials said 1 August that it does not expect the incident to have an impact on its annual guidance for the Candelaria copper mining complex, for which the Alcaparrosa mine contributes approximately 5% to overall ore processing.

Lundin owns 80% of the operation, with the balance held by Japanese group Sumitomo.

Sources: Lundin Mining, Sernageomin and Reuters 

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