12 April 2020 | Press

Ratifying the high levels of support obtained in recent surveys, the mining activity was the productive sector considered most relevant by the inhabitants of the Region of Coquimbo according to a study carried out by Cadem, together with the Catholic University of the North and El Día newspaper.  The study, done with the purpose of analyzing the perception of the economic situation in the community of the Region of Coquimbo, in particular within the context of the crisis caused by Covid-19, shows that 33% of those surveyed mentioned mining as the sector most relevant for the region, being followed by “Agriculture and Cattle industry” with 44% of the preferences, and “Tourism” with 35%.

The results reflect likewise, that mining has a very favorable assessment, being that 61% of those surveyed stated having a “very positive”, or “positive” opinion on mining.  With regards to new mining projects in the region, 66% of those surveyed stated their support to the development of new mining projects, whereas 32% were against of this option (2% did not know-did not answer).  Upon analyzing the result by communities, it was highlighted the broad support obtained for the development of new projects in the community of La Higuera, where the port and mining project of Dominga would develop, zone where the support for new initiatives reached 76%.

In the same way, the percentages in the community of La Higuera stand out, where 80% of those surveyed indicated they depended “very much” or “a lot” on the sector with regards to a future economic growth, with 69% in La Serena, 67% in Coquimbo and 63% in Ovalle.  The most valued attributes on mining were the capacity to generate employment, to contribute to the economic growth of the region, paying good salaries and being an innovative industry.  With a lower emphasis they mentioned, the concern for the environment and the good use of scarce resources such as water.

Broad regional support to Dominga´s proposal to build only one port

An important citizen endorsement in the Region of Coquimbo to the proposal of port and mining project of Dominga to build only one port in the zone of La Higuera was reflected in a study carried out by Cadem, together with the Catholic University of the North and El Día newspaper.  That, considering that 59% of those surveyed stated “strongly agree” or “agree” with the mentioned proposal, while 33% stated “disagree” or “strongly disagree”, and 1% neither “agree” nor “disagree”, (7% did not know-did not answer).  More favorable to the initiative where the results in the community of La Higuera, where the support was 79%.  On the other hand, the communities with higher population also supported the proposal:  Coquimbo with 61%, La Serena and Ovalle with 58% of the total of the preferences.

It should be remembered that on March 3rd, within the context of the hearings at the First Environmental Tribunal of Antofagasta, Dominga promised to build only one port in the community of La Higuera, even though the territorial plan established in the Intercommunity Regulatory Plan (IRP) defines 3 zones suitable for port development.  At present, in this community there also exists the port project of Cruz Grande in the locality of Chungungo, and the Dominga project which plans the construction of a port in the zone of Totoralillo Norte.  Both port projects are 5 kilometers apart.  In said hearings, the attorney representing Dominga, Patricio Leyton, stated that “regardless of whether we have strictly complied with the development of a modern and environmentally sustainable project, we understand that it is reasonable to install only one port, since having two terminals that close is not justifiable”.

Also, the company has promised to contribute with resources for the creation of an independent center for scientific investigation, with focus in maritime protected areas and species, and that in particular it can analyze the behavior of cetacean and penguins in the area of influence and the areas of exclusion of the project.  Considering the importance of the ecosystem of the area, based on the information generated in time, this center for investigation could recommend courses of action which would be made mandatory, and become part of the commitments of the company, becoming controllable and punishable by current law.

Source:  El Día newspaper – http://www.diarioeldia.cl/region/66-habitantes-region-apoya-desarrollo-nuevos-proyectos-mineros

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