Chilean state-owned Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, said in a letter to congressmen this week that up to 40% of its copper production will be at risk if they move forward with a bill that limits mining operations near glaciers, according to report by the local daily El Mercurio.
The letter, sent by Codelco to the Chilean Senate’s Mining and Energy committee, notes that three of its main mining operations – Andina, El Teniente and Salvador – would be affected by the “absolute prohibitions” currently under consideration in the bill.
“The new protections proposed in the project would overlap with current and future activities in Andina, El Teniente and Salvador,” Codelco executives warned in the letter to members of the Senate, according to the report by El Mercurio.
The three mines together make up almost 40% of the vast copper production, government data show.
The Senate is considering the glacier protection bill when it begins to revise a royalty bill that aims to dramatically raise taxes levied on the country’s copper miners, a move that industry executives warn could potentially condemn many of Chile’s mines.