Projects in Chile

Rejection of Dominga

SEA publishes resolution with the technical reasons against the mining project and affirms that it cannot be carried out. SEA publishes the official document with the arguments of the ministerial committee that rejected the project in January 2023. 

 Alianza Humboldt hopes that this decision will put a definitive end to the company's aspirations.

Santiago, Landau 4th July 2023 The Environmental Assessment Service (SEA), on behalf of the Committee of Ministers, published the technical and scientific resolution that led the ministerial body to unanimously reject the Dominga Port mining project in January this year.

The document, which is more than 200 pages long, summarises a number of shortcomings that the Andes Iron initiative was unable to address during the environmental assessment process and which had already led to the rejection of the project in 2017. In fact, the resolution states that after considering the arguments, "the Dominga project, of which Andes Iron SpA is the proponent, cannot go ahead".

"The decision is absolutely conclusive from both a legal and a scientific point of view. It shows that the project was poorly evaluated and lacks basic requirements such as a proper definition of the sphere of influence and a minimally sound baseline. It also ignores the permanent impacts on the Los Choros aquifer," said Antonia Berríos, lawyer for the Los Choros Fishermen and Shellfish Farmers Association.

Among the most convincing arguments justifying the rejection of the Dominga project is that the resolution identifies serious deficiencies regarding information on the marine environment, such as the submission of an "incomplete sphere of influence" that did not take into account the threat of the project to protected species, as well as the submission of an "insufficient and incomplete baseline survey on each species", especially endangered species. The impacts of marine traffic and project operations on species were not identified or assessed, nor were the impacts of the desalination plant on artisanal fishermen's management areas.

"The Ministerial Committee's verdict confirms what we have been hearing from the scientific community for years: serious flaws that point to a superficial and irresponsible assessment that downplays the impact of a project such as this. The arguments also show that a project like this would have irrevocably changed biodiversity and such important economic sectors as fishing and tourism in the area," said Oceana Executive Director Liesbeth van der Meer.

The Committee of Ministers confirmed this concern, noting that Andes Iron does not take responsibility for the potential impact on water quality and availability in a sector that is clearly agricultural.

"The decision of the Ministerial Committee is conclusive in the overall assessment process that addresses the irreversible impact that the implementation of a project on the scale of Dominga could have on the water source of local communities. Irreversible impact, which also provided for a measure of compensation that was neither coherent nor consistent with the nature of the area," said Alejandra Donoso, lawyer for the Movement in Defence of the Environment of La Higuera (Movimiento en Defensa del Medio Ambiente de La Higuera), the Rural Drinking Water Committee of Los Choros and the Association of Small Landowners of Los Choros.

The resolution on the environmental impact assessment also referred to the impact on air and stated that the impact of sedimentable particulate matter on the environment and health had not been duly considered. 

The Dominga Port Mining Project was approved in 2017 both at the regional level and by the Committee of Ministers under the government of President Michelle Bachelet. nevertheless, the company decided to take the case to court. Since then, and after two instances before the Environmental Court and the Supreme Court, the latter referred the decision to the Committee of Ministers, currently under the government of President Gabriel Boric, which voted unanimously to reject the project in January 2023.

You can find more information about Alianza Humboldt at

Press release Alianza Humboldt, 30 June 2023

W. K. translated with deepl

translated into english by Claudia Fawer




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