The environmental evaluation service (SEA) committee of Coquimbo region (IV) in Chile has scheduled for March 9 a vote to determine the fate of the environmental permit of Andes Iron's Dominga iron ore-copper project.
Last month SEA officers recommended the US$2.5bn mining and port initiative be approved.
Dominga is a 25-year iron ore project, with copper as its main byproduct. Planned production is 12Mt/y of iron ore and 150,000t/y of copper in concentrates.
The project envisions two open pit areas, Rajo Norte and Rajo Sur, as well as a processing facility, a dump site, a thickened tailings dam and auxiliary facilities, including a desalination plant and a new port to export output.
The project has come up against strong opposition from environmental groups which claim it will have a negative impact on the biodiversity of the area.
Dominga was submitted for evaluation in September 2013.