Andes Iron will present legal actions against Coquimbo environment seremi for concealing records

18 August 2023 | News

Andes Iron, owner of the Dominga mining and port project, located in the commune of La Higuera, announced that it will take legal action against the Seremi de Medio Ambiente of the Coquimbo Region, Leonardo Gros, and against those who are responsible, due to having deliberately omitted basic background and objectives to the Council of Ministers for Sustainability and Climate Change, an action that seriously harms the company.

It should be noted that for several months the Ministry of the Environment has been working on a proposal to create a Multiple Use Coastal Marine Area (AMCP-MU) that covers the south of the Atacama Region and the north of the Coquimbo Region (specifically in the commune of La Higuera).

In this context, on July 7th, the Council of Ministers for Sustainability and Climate Change was convened to pronounce on a specific proposal presented by the Ministry of the Environment, which was based on a report prepared by the executing entity GEAMCHILE.

This proposal indicated that all current maritime concessions would be excluded from the protected zone, omitting the current maritime concession owned by Andes Iron in Bahía Totoralillo Norte, granted by Decree No. 405/2012 of the Ministry of Defense, which allows it to install a shipment terminal for iron concentrate.

Faced with this omission, before the aforementioned meeting, Andes Iron sent a letter to the Council of Ministers for Sustainability and Climate Change, representing the previously mentioned inexplicable discrimination. Despite the objection made, during the meeting on July 7th, and in response to inquiries made by members of the Council regarding how the creation of AMCP-MU would impact different port projects in La Higuera, the SEREMI for the Environment of Coquimbo, being untruthful, indicated that Dominga did not have maritime concession.

For Andes Iron, the conduct of Mr. Gros, added to a set of possible irregularities regarding the attempted declaration of the aforementioned AMCP-MU, could correspond to possible crimes of administrative prevarication and documentary concealment, in addition to other figures sanctioned by administrative regulations.  Given this, in the coming days the respective complaints will be filed for the Public Ministry to investigate these events, which in the company’s opinion are detrimental to the development of Dominga and limit the future of the Coquimbo Region, by trying to close the possibility of development of ports, desalination plants, bioceanic corridors, mining and industrial activities, among others.

It should be noted that Andes Iron is not opposed to the creation of an AMCP-MU, but without a doubt, as in developed countries, these must be implemented with an adequate participation process and making the protection of the environment compatible with development of sustainable economic activities.

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