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Charges Of Contamination Against Mining Company Valle Central

Published by MAC on 2006-03-17

Charges of Contamination Against mining company Valle Central

Rancagua, Chile

17th March 2006

Neighbors of the mining company Valle Central ( and Rancagua Councilor Edison Ortiz, have charged the mining firm with environmental contamination. Valle Central mines molybdenum from copper concentrate provided by CODELCO, a process which generates a high amount of contaminated materials in the VI Region.

The claimants say that they repeatedly informed environmental authorities about the situation - authorities which approved the mine's operating license without having undertaken Environmental Impact studies. In this respect, the council person of the PPD, Edison Ortiz, told Digital FM: "They haven't carried out the proper oversight, the only thing there is, is the monitoring. Jorge Sanhueza, director of communications of CODELCO, told me that the monitoring is turning out well, as if it isn't the case Valle Central is paying them. Because of this, I asked CODELCO to take on a more direct role, because they are obliged to observe the law and norms of ISO 14001. I implore government officials to take more seriously the issue of the environment. It can't be that we continue just talking, while permanently - and not only in this case - the laws continue to be violated," he concluded.

The company has operated since 1992 in this location, eight kilometers from the springs of Termas de Cauquenes, where there is a settlement of six families who, according to the complaint, suffer constantly from nausea, migraines, and abdominal pain.

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