UPDATE 1-Chile environmental regulator eyes sanctions for Teck copper mine

lunes 22 de junio de 2015 18:28 GYT

(Adds response from Teck Resources, mine revenue contribution)

SANTIAGO, June 22 (Reuters) - Canada's Teck Resources is facing sanctions that could include revoking its permit over environmental infractions at its Carmen de Andacollo copper mine in Chile, the local regulator said on Monday.

Problems at the mine, located in the north-central region of Coquimbo, included openings in the deposit where the ore was stored and a failure to build sufficient water infrastructure, the regulator said in a statement.

Some of the charges were classified as "serious," which carries a maximum penalty of a $4 million fine or the withdrawal of the project's environmental permit.

Teck is reviewing the regulator's notice and will respond "appropriately", a spokesman said in an emailed response to questions from Reuters.

"We take this issue very seriously and will work to address any concerns identified," Teck spokesman Chris Stannell said.

Carmen de Andacollo is one of Teck's five copper mines, and contributed nearly 6 percent of the miner's total 2014 revenue.

The announcement of the sanctions process comes at a time when many miners operating in Chile, the world's top copper exporter, are trying to accommodate community concerns, against a backdrop of increased activism and a tougher stance on environmental damage by courts and government.

Teck has 10 days to present its plan to address the issues or 15 days to provide evidence. (Reporting by Fabian Cambero in Santiago and Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Writing by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Leslie Adler and Christian Plumb)