Peru government fines Antamina over copper spill

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The Peruvian government has fined the Antamina mining company after a pipeline rupture caused the leak of copper concentrate in the Santa Rosa community, in the Ancash region.

On Tuesday Minister of Environment Manuel Pulgar-Vidal said Antamina would be fined 207,200 soles (about $76,740), Peru21 reported.

The leak occurred on July 25 after the rupture of the lower section of a pipeline elbow at a valve. Most of the copper concentrate, the company claimed, was collected by a contingency well, however, some of the copper concentrate managed to spread onto an adjacent area.

La Republica said 45 tones of copper concentrate leaked from the pipes – 42 of which were contained by a contingency well.

Pulgar-Vidal said Antamina was fined “because of two reasons: first because of the lack of diligence in the notice, and in the filling out of forms regarding the incident, and the second, because some trees needed to be cut down due to pollution in the soil.”

Last year the minister said he thought Antamina would be fined $13 million, the maximum fine for environmental pollution.

However, the lower fine was imposed due to wording in the current legislation regarding these types of spills, the daily said.

This definition has already been changed, today it would be different,” Pulgar-Vidal was quoted as saying.

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