The South American state Chile rejected the billion-dollar project on iron-mining on Monday. The aim of this decision is to protect a good number of endangered penguins.
The Chilean company Andes Iron aimed to extract a huge amount of iron in a specific area, the northern Coquimbo region, in Chile. The company also wanted to build a port in that region to ship the metal. But, a special committee of the Chilean ministers opined that the billion-dollar project offered no sufficient environmental guarantees.
The important fact is Coquimbo is located near the three important islands that form the National Humboldt Penguin Reserve of Chile. According to the BBC, it is the home of the many endangered species that include Humboldt penguins, sea otters, fin whales, and blue whales. The region contains 80 percent of the Humboldt penguins of the world.
The Environment Minister of Chile, Marcelo Mena, said that the compensation measures of this project were insufficient. They could not even guarantee the endangered species' protection. Marcelo Mena utters that he believes in the development. But development should not come at the cost of the environmental heritage.
Development must not risk the health or the world's ecological areas. The Environment minister of Chile says that the decision of the committee mainly based on the technical aspects. Evidence of the fourteen agencies was also considered before taking the decision.
In recent years mining companies are facing very hard time to obtain permits in the South American state Chile. The increasing interest among the politicians and the public opinion about the environment are the key causes behind the difficulty in obtaining permits. According to MINING.com, the government supports reported that former president of Chile, Sebastian Pinera, favored this project.
They said Pinera, favored the project during his first term in the government when his family members were the shareholders. But, the former president of Chile, Sebastian Pinera denied all these allegations. The environmental commission rejected the iron-mining project in March. But, the company behind this project, Andes Iron, appealed the ruling and sent it to the committee of the special ministers for the final decision.