Goldcorp announced that it has secured the environmental permit it needs to progress with its copper and gold El Morro project in the north of Chile.
Construction on the $3.9 billion project was halted in 2012, after the Chile’s Supreme Court froze its environmental permit at the request of the local indigenous community, until the company had fully consulted the community, Reuters reported.
Despite the role copper mining has played in Chile’s economic growth, Goldcorp faced resistance from local communities that argued they were not benefitting from the mining operations. Environmental concerns also played a part in the challenges.
"Goldcorp will now carefully consider the most appropriate next steps it will take to develop the El Morro project, with the aim of satisfying the long term needs of all interested parties," said the company in a statement.
El Morro, 70 percent owned by Goldcorp and 30 percent by New Gold, had been due to begin operations in 2017. It has reserves of 6.1 million lbs of copper and 8.4 million oz of gold.