Chile’s national copper company Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, said in a letter to members of Congress this week that if a bill restricting mining near glaciers is implemented, as much as 40% of its copper output will be in In danger.
Codelco's letter to the Chilean Senate Mining and Energy Committee pointed out that the "absolute ban" currently under consideration in the bill will affect its three main mine operations, namely Andina, El Teniente and Salvador.
Codelco executives warned in a letter to members of Congress: “The new protection measures proposed in this project will overlap with the current and future activities of Andina, El Teniente and Salvador.”
Government statistics show that these three mines together account for nearly 40% of the company's output.
The Senate is considering a bill to protect the glacier as it begins reviewing a concession bill designed to substantially increase taxes on copper miners in the country. Industry executives have warned that these measures may render many large mines in Chile unable to operate.
Supporters of the bill say that Chilean glaciers, already threatened by climate change, need immediate protection from industrial production.
The Glacier Act was first proposed in early 2018 and will undergo further committee review and procedural voting in the coming weeks.