In an interview with the Mining Bulletin of the month of April, Francisco Villalón, Corporate...
What is the Dominga Project?
We are a seaport mining project located in the Region of Coquimbo, with mineral deposit situated 16 km northwest of the town of La Higuera, where the plant, the two pits, the waste dump and the tailings thickened deposit shall be set.
The plant will be connected to the seaport boarding terminal through three 26-kilometer underground pipelines that will carry water and iron.
The seaport shipping terminal will be located in the town of Totoralillo Norte, where the Commune´s first mining seaport was built and where the new facilities for the collection, filtration and shipment of iron concentrate through closed conveyor belts system and mobile loaders that will carry the iron concentrate directly to the ship’s holds, avoiding material leaks.
A desalination plant that will allow us to operate with seawater in all our processes, in addition to delivering 5 Liters per second of desalinated water, available to be processed to drinking water to the Commune of La Higuera.
Discovery of the Iron, Copper and Gold deposit in the commune of La Higuera, Coquimbo Region.
Andes Iron buys 100% of the Dominga Project from Minería Activa.
Andes Iron initiates a participatory process in the La Higuera Commune to inform the community, respond to their concerns and receive their suggestions.
An Environmental Impact Statement (DIA) is presented to develop Dominga North and South Prospecting activity. The DIA qualification process had two Addendum and obtained its environmental approval (RCA) on July 15, 2011. The preparation of local young people for their participation in the work associated with the Dominga Prospecting activity begins.
The Regional Commission for the Use of the Coastal Border (CRUBC) grants Project Dominga the maritime concession for the port in the bay of Totoralillo Norte.
The Environmental Impact Study (EIA) for the Dominga Seaport Mining Project is submitted to the SEA for evaluation.
The Project goes through an exhaustive process of review of the environmental assessment presented, the period during which various reports are submitted to the Environmental Assessment Service (EAS). During this process, 4 reports are received with questions from the competent authorities, which are all answered by Andes Iron, accounting for a long and detailed process. In addition, three formal citizen participation processes were carried out.
The Dominga Mining Project and the Community of La Higuera sign a Framework Agreement for the Human, Productive and Environmental Development of the La Higuera commune. The document is signed by over 1,600 adult residents of the commune.
The Regional Evaluation Council, made up of 12 regional authorities, rejects to grant a favourable RCA Environmental Rating Resolution for the Dominga Project. The vote was a tie and the Regional Superintendent of the time decided to reject the project because he considered the country required an environmental standard (legal framework) higher than the one in force at the time.
Andes Iron appeals the decision of the Regional Evaluation Council to the Committee of Ministers
The Committee of Ministers is summoned to discuss matters that did not include the Dominga Project. Only at the last hour of the previous business day the Dominga Project was incorporated in the discussion like the principal subject and the vote proceeded, but despite the acknowledgement of its unlawfulness by five of the votes, the Committee ratified the regional rejection of the project. Subsequently, two ministers of the economic team of the government of the time presented their resignation.
Legal arguments are made in the Antofagasta Environmental Court.
Inspection of the Dominga Project site area by members of the Antofagasta Environmental Court.
The Antofagasta Environmental Court proposes a conciliation act to the parties. Dominga agrees to the invitation, however, the SEA refrains from participating.
The Antofagasta Environmental Court rules in favor of the Dominga Project ordering the project to be restituted back to the time immediately after the publication of the ICE, considering that both votes in 2017 were arbitrary and illegal.
The Project´s opponents submit six appeals to the Supreme Court to try to revert the decision of the Antofagasta Environmental Court.
The Project´s opponents submit a Constitutional Non Applicability Requirement at the Constitutional Court against the decision of the Antofagasta Environmental Court.
The Constitutional Court does not admit appeals filed against the Project, ruling in favor of Dominga.
The Supreme Court ends hearing arguments on the 6 appeals filed by opponents of the Project.
The Supreme Court agrees with the appeals presented and appoints the Minister for the redaction of the decision taken.
The Supreme Court issues a ruling that rejects Dominga’s claim regarding the complaint of formal vices in the processing of administrative claims and in the decision of the Committee of Ministers. Returns the case to the Antofagasta Environmental Court ordering the court to refer to points that were not previously addressed. That is, the First Environmental Tribunal must refer to the integrity of the background of the environmental assessment file and the technical aspects used by the Committee of Ministers to support the rejection of the project.
The Antofagasta Environmental Court receives the case, sets a date for the hearing of the case and asks the parties to announce themselves to allege.
The First Environmental Tribunal of Antofagasta, resolved unanimously, that the Dominga mining-port project fully complies with the current environmental regulations, in addition to having submitted all the necessary information for its correct environmental assessment.
Our commitment to the environment
- Environmental Impact Study
- Framework Agreement
- Environmental Assessment
- Environmental Court
During the 22 years of projected operation of two open-pit mines located in the La Higuera Commune, 16 km northeast of communal capital, we expect to extract 12 million tons per year of High-Grade iron concentrate – contributing with the necessary reduction of CO2 emissions in the steel industry – and 150 thousand tons per year of copper concentrate – cooperating with electromobility.
We will activate the zone and the Region´s productive sector. During the construction phase we plan to create 10,000 direct jobs and 25,000 indirect jobs. During the stage of operation, we expect the creation of 1,500 direct jobs and 4,000 indirect jobs.
These jobs, which are preferentially destined to regional workers and companies, will revitalize the communal, regional and national economy.
In addition, we have a robust social proposal that acknowledges the right of the Commune´s population to benefit from the mineral resources. In this context, the Company has signed a Framework Agreement along with over 1,600 neighbors, where we pledge to share the profits with the entire community through the transfer of funds to finance those projects that the community considers appropriate according to their social and economic value.
We will use seawater in all our processes. To this end, we will install a desalination plant with a collection container situated 750 meters from the coast and 20 meters below ground, where the presence of plankton is significantly lower. The discharge pipe has a 44m diffuser system, located 720m from the coast, with 12 jets spaced at 4 m with a dilution capacity of 95% in a range of 4 m.
On the contrary, part of the desalinated water produced will be delivered to the Commune of La Higuera: 5 liters per second of desalinated water, available to be processed as drinking water.
To ensure its normal flow, any fresh water we might find in layer deposits will be captured and returned to its natural course, thus maintaining the natural evolution of Los Choros Aquifer.
Our proposed modern tailings management system reduces the likelihood of leakage into groundwater or through rainwater.
The thickened tailings deposit system considers reducing the moisture content in the material to be deposited, thus facilitating its compaction and drying, minimizing the risk of acidic water generation.
In addition, and as a safety precaution, the thickened tailings deposit will be located over 40 kilometers from protected areas beyond a mountain range, upstream and across from the local highway.
Our seaport and water desalination plant will be located 30 kilometers away, in a straight line, from the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve, even further than the Cruz Grande mining port of the Pacific Mining Company (CAP), already granted approval by the same institution that assessed Dominga.
There are already some 1,600 ships currently circulating, along the coasts of the Coquimbo Region a year, just a few kilometers from the Humboldt Penguin National Reserve (approx. 5 km).
Our project estimates traffic flow of 56 vessels per year, at a speed of 18 km per hour and more than 20 km away from the Reserve.
We have a deep commitment to the environment, therefore we have worked on a strong, binding and independent proposal, which provides scientific knowledge of current and future conditions of marine biodiversity and thus adjusts all our operations and those of any company, to the goal of environment protection.
ESTAFA VÍA CORREO ELECTRÓNICO
Circula en redes sociales una información falsa sobre ofertas laborales para trabajar en Andes Iron SpA. Al respecto, queremos aclarar que:
- Andes Iron SpA no solicita ni solicitará ningún pago para postular a una vacante laboral en nuestra empresa.
- Informamos a las personas para que tomen los resguardos necesarios y no sean víctimas de este tipo de estafas.
- Todos los procesos de selección serán notificados de manera oportuna a través de nuestros canales corporativos formales.
Difunde y comparte, es tarea de todos cuidarnos.
Asuntos Corporativos Andes Iron.