SANTIAGO – Chilean authorities began an investigation on Monday into a strange sinkhole measuring 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter that appeared over the weekend in a mining area in the country’s north.
Aerial photographs of the sinkhole on territory operated by a Canadian Lundin Mining copper mine, around 665 kilometers (413 miles) north of Santiago, were released by Chilean media.
The National Service of Geology and Mining (Sernageomin) became aware of the sinkhole on Saturday and dispatched specialist employees to the region, according to the agency’s head, David Montenegro.
“There is a significant distance to the bottom, approximately 200 metres (656 feet),” Montenegro stated. “We haven’t found any material down there, but we have found a lot of water.”
Sernageomin reported the closing of regions surrounding the sinkhole’s entry to the Alcaparrosa mine’s work site.
Lundin Mining announced in a statement posted Monday afternoon that the sinkhole had no effect on workers or community people.
“The nearest residence is more than 600 metres (1,969 feet) away, while any populated area or public service is about a kilometer away from the affected zone,” according to the statement.
Lundin Mining holds 80% of the land, with the remainder held by Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation.
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