CHILE – The supreme court of Chile withdrew the environmental permit for the El Morro gold-copper development operated by Vancouver-based Goldcorp. The project, owned 70% by Goldcorp and 30% by New Gold, is located 80 km east of Vallenar in the Atacama region.
The court made its decision after hearing arguments from indigenous groups that oppose the mine on environmental grounds. Goldcorp is considering its options. The environmental permit was previously suspended from April 2012 to October 2013 while the Chilean environmental permitting authority set up a community consultation process.
Goldcorp put the capital cost of El Morro at $3.9 billion, when the decision to proceed with construction was announced in January 2012. The company expected annual production to be 210,000 oz of gold and 200 million lb of copper. Proven and probable reserves stood at 537 million tonnes grading 0.52% Cu and 0.49 g/t Au. The conventional flotation mill would have a throughput of 90,000 t/d. Production was targeted for 2017.
See either Goldcorp.com or NewGold.com.