Chile sues BHP, Albemarle, Antofagasta over water use – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – April 8, 2022)

The Chilean government of ecologist and feminist President Gabriel Boric is suing mines operated by giants BHP (ASX: BHP), Albemarle (NYSE: ALB) and Antofagasta (LON: ANTO) alleged environmental damage caused in the northern Salar de Atacama salt flats, the world’s driest place on earth.

The State Defense Council’s (CDE) legal action singles out BHP’s Escondida, the world’s largest copper mine, Antofagasta and Barrick’s 50-50 Zaldívar operation and Albemarle’s lithium assets.

The case centres on the apparent deterioration of the Monturaqui-Negrillar-Tilopozo aquifer, an important source of ground water, because of the high pace of extraction to support mining operations in the area.

The government agency argues that the mines named in the suit have breached environmental protection, preservation, and conservation rules.

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