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Teck faces $8M fine for alleged breach of environmental permit in Chile

'Companies must comply with their commitments. It’s part of the rules of the game.'
Carmen de Andacollo copper-gold mine located in central Chile

Teck Resources (TSX: TECK.A | TECK.B) (NYSE: TECK), Canada’s largest diversified miner, is facing two charges from Chile’s environmental regulator SMA for alleged breaches Carmen de Andacollo copper mine’s permit.

The authority said Tuesday that Teck risks a fine of up to $7.6 billion pesos ($8m) for not finishing construction of an infiltration capture system at the project known as “Andacollo Cobre”. Such system was one of the requirements needed to obtain the environmental permit.

The SMA also said that the company had failed to monitor groundwater to ensure the presence of chemical does not exceed the maximum levels allowed. 

“It is important to remind project owners that it is not enough to have an environmental permit,” Chile’s Superintendent of the Environment, Marie Claude Plumer, said in the statement. “Companies must comply with their commitments. It’s part of the rules of the game.”

The SMA has gone after Teck in recent years, mainly around its Quebrada Blanca project, but the company has been fined only once.

Lundin’s Caserones copper mine paid in August the equivalent of $9 million for serious water-use violations found by the environment watchdog.

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