A sinkhole 105 feet in diameter opened up near the Chilean town of Tierra Amarilla in the Atacama Desert. The sinkhole, bigger than an NBA basketball court, appeared near Lundin Mining's underground Minera Ojos del Salado copper mine. From Lundin Mining's statement on the matter:
Minera Ojos del Salado is conducting a technical analysis and gathering information to determine the cause of the event. The Alcaparrosa mine, which is part of the Minera Ojos del Salado operations, is continuously monitored and no movement has been detected related to the surficial sinkhole.
As a preventive measure, development work in an area of the Alcaparrosa underground mine has been temporarily suspended though is not expected to impact annual guidance for the Candelaria Copper Mining Complex.
The event is playing out as the mining industry lobbies against planned tax hikes in Chile and faces more onerous rules regarding the environment and local communities as part of a new constitution that will go to a popular vote next month. Lundin is looking into further expansions in Chile after recently spending $1 billion upgrading its operations there.