Key Chilean Environmental Assessment Commission Rejects Massive Coastal Port and Mining Project near Marine Reserves
The Environmental Assessment Commission (EAC) of Coquimbo in Chile rejected plans to build the Dominga Port-Mining project in Chile’s La Higuera region. The project included two open pit mines for the extraction of iron ore and copper, a port, a desalination plant and a tailing basin located in close proximity to the marine reserves of Choros Damas Islands and Chañaral Island. The project was also close to the National Humboldt Penguin Reserve, which is home to 80 percent of the world’s Humboldt Penguins and to a wide variety of other marine life, including blue whales. Oceana has campaigned for over a decade to protect the penguins, sealife and vulnerable ecosystems of La Higuera, including blocking the construction of a thermoelectric plant in 2010. Through the most recent “Salvemos La Higuera” (Save La Higuera) campaign, Oceana brought together community members, local businesses and organizations to successfully oppose the port-mining construction that would threaten local marine life and fishing.