SANTIAGO, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Goldcorp has secured theenvironmental permit it needs to progress with its copper andgold El Morro project in the north of Chile, the Canadian minersaid on Tuesday.
Construction on the $3.9 billion project was halted lastyear, after the Supreme Court froze its environmental permit atthe request of the local indigenous community, until the companyhad fully consulted the community.
While a copper boom has buoyed Chile's economic growth, manyChileans feel the profits have not benefited them and thatmassive mining operations have polluted the environment, leadingto increased protests and challenges to projects from local andindigenous groups.
"Goldcorp will now carefully consider the most appropriatenext steps it will take to develop the El Morro project, withthe aim of satisfying the long term needs of all interestedparties," said the company in a statement.
El Morro, 70 percent owned by Goldcorp and 30 percent by NewGold, had been due to begin operations in 2017. It hasreserves of 6.1 million pounds of copper and 8.4 million ouncesof gold.
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