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VIDEO: Mysterious 64-meter deep hole appears in Chile

The huge hole appeared near a copper mine in a Chilean desert

August 4, 2022 3:47pm

Updated: August 5, 2022 8:32am

Chilean authorities announced on Tuesday that they are investigating the causes of a hole 32 meters in diameter and 64 meters deep that appeared in a copper mine in the Atacama Desert.

Experts in the field traveled to the municipality of Tierra Amarilla, some 800 km north of Santiago de Chile, to study the huge sinkhole that appeared over the weekend, the National Mining Subdirectorate of the National Geology and Mining Service (Sernageomin) said in a statement.

A 100-meter security perimeter was established around the hole, located within the grounds of the Alcaparrosa de Candelaria mine, operated by Canadian Lundin Mining. 

"There was no impact to personnel, equipment or infrastructure" and the sinkhole has remained stable since detection, the statement said.  

As a precautionary measure, "development work was temporarily suspended in an area of the Alcaparrosa subway mine," the company said, adding that no movement has been detected.

“Experts and mine personnel seek to "clarify the causes and ensure that all safety measures are taken to safeguard the lives of workers and communities near the site," said David Montenegro, director of Sernageomin.

Montenegro said that the professionals visited the area "to see if there are any cracks and entered the mine to see its real state."

Cristian Zúñiga, mayor of Tierra Amarilla, told local media that the population has always feared this type of incident due to mining operations in the area.

"This huge sinkhole is something that has never been seen in our community. We ask that it be clarified why this event occurred, if the collapse is a product of mining activity or if it is of another nature," he said.

Chile is the world's leading copper producer, responsible for more than 25% of the global supply.

Fast-File Reporter

Marielbis Rojas

Marielbis Rojas is a Venezuelan journalist and communications professional with a degree in Social Communication from UCAB. She is a news reporter for ADN America.