Mining plans raise water, energy concerns


Chile’s announcement that it anticipates US$17 billion in new gold and copper mining investment over the next five years has drawn heated criticism from environmental experts, who blame mining for sapping the country of water and energy. Both copper and gold mining are playing a prominent role in Chile’s economy. Driven by the state-owned copper company Codelco, the largest copper producer in the world, Chile’s copper exports reached US$33.3 billion in 2006. According to a 2007 report from the Washington, D.C.-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs, copper accounts for roughly 7% of Chile’s total GDP, and in 2006 represented 57% of the country’s total exports and 32% of its total fiscal revenues. Copper continues to be a fiscal mainstay: copper-mining taxes... [Log in to read more]

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