Chile Rejects $2.5 Billion Mine Project on Environmental Risks in Snub to Business – by Matthew Malinowski (Bloomberg News – January 18, 2023)

(Bloomberg) — Chile’s government rejected a $2.5 billion iron-ore project near a nature reserve in the north of the country on concern it would endanger local species, a victory for President Gabriel Boric’s green agenda that has business groups fuming.

A committee of government ministers on Wednesday voted unanimously against Andes Iron’s Dominga project, Environment Minister Maisa Rojas told a press conference, citing the “unique ecological value” of the area. Andes Iron, owned by the local Delano and Garces families, said it would appeal the decision in environmental tribunals.

The Dominga project is a flash-point between business interests in Chile — a global investor darling and mining powerhouse — and activists that warn it would wreak havoc on the local environment.

By halting the controversial project after a decade of legal wrangling, Boric’s left-wing government risks endangering the business climate in Chile’s main industry at a time the economy is expected to fall into recession this year.

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