- Experts in Chile are investigating a massive sinkhole.
- A 100-meter safety fence has been built around the hole.
- The sinkhole has been stable since its discovery.
Experts in Chile investigate the appearance of a huge sinkhole, bigger than a tennis court, that has appeared near a copper mine in the Atacama Desert.
Experts were dispatched to inspect the hole, which was about 32 meters (104 feet) across and twice as deep, about 800 kilometers (about 500 miles) north of Santiago over the weekend. Appeared in an area, the National Geology and Mining Service (Serengyumen) said in a statement.
A 100-meter safety perimeter has been built around the hole in the municipality of Terra Amarilla near the Alcaparosa mine operated by Canadian firm Linden Mining.
The company said in a statement that there were “no impacts to personnel, equipment or infrastructure,” and the sinkhole has been stable since its discovery.
As a precautionary measure, “development work in one area of the Alcaparrosa underground mine has been temporarily suspended,” the company said.
Sernageomin director David Montenegro said experts will try to determine the cause of the disaster and “ensure that all safety measures are in place to protect the lives of workers and communities near the site.” “
Cristian Zuniga, mayor of the Terra Amarilla municipality of about 13,000 residents, told reporters that the sinkhole was unprecedented.
“We demand that the cause be clarified: whether the collapse is a result of mining activity or something else,” he said.
Chile is the world’s largest copper producer, accounting for a quarter of the global supply.